Acreage Under Cultivation

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th May 1972.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Peter Doig Mr Peter Doig , Dundee West 12:00 am, 24th May 1972

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the total acreage under cultivation in Scotland now, and the comparable figure for five years ago and 10 years ago.

Photo of Mr Alick Buchanan-Smith Mr Alick Buchanan-Smith , North Angus and Mearns

The area under crops and temporary grassland in 1971 was 3,163,000 acres, compared with 3,389,000 acres in 1966 and 3,428,000 acres in 1961.

Photo of Mr Peter Doig Mr Peter Doig , Dundee West

Is not the Minister disturbed at the answer and the trend it conveys, in view of the ever-increasing world population and the likelihood of an ever-decreasing supply of food in relation to that population? What steps does he propose to take to safeguard Scotland's future?

Photo of Mr Alick Buchanan-Smith Mr Alick Buchanan-Smith , North Angus and Mearns

No, I am not disturbed. If the hon. Gentleman will look at the figures more closely he will see that the biggest change that has taken place is the transfer from temporary grass to permanent grass. That represents the biggest loss in acres under cultivation. I take his point, but over the last 10 years we have seen much more intensive agriculture and increasing output.