Scotland’s rural economy is varied and vibrant, but in many places it is also fragile. SEFARI research plays a key role in better understanding our rural communities, and the economy which underpins them. Our research examines the main drivers for change facing Scotland’s rural economy, and identifies ways in which land-based and other rural industries and government policy, can adapt to these challenges. While the focus is primarily on agriculture, research also covers other prominent sectors in the rural economy, such as forestry and tourism.
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23 Feb 2021
Green Infrastructure consists of interconnected multifunctional green spaces and green features. Components of Green Infrastructure include parks, nature reserves, street trees, streams, sustainable urban drainage systems and green roofs.
16 Dec 2020
Arable crops like wheat and barley, are frequently under attack from diseases, weeds, insects and slugs. These lead to reductions in yield and affect the profitability of farms and the price of produce. To protect crops there is a heavy reliance on pesticides.
1 Dec 2020
Using Natural Capital Approaches to support sustainable land management in Scotland: Insights from five pilot studies
Natural capital approaches involve identifying, understanding, and measuring the relative contribution of nature to economic performance and human well-being. By adopting the language of business, natural capital approaches allow the natural environment to be included in discussions about business decisions.
16 Nov 2020
Natural capital underpins sustainability and refers to the stocks of natural resources, which include geology, soil, air, water, and all living things.
4 Nov 2020
Phase 2 Grouse Research - Socioeconomic and biodiversity impacts of driven grouse moors and the employment rights of gamekeepers
This ‘Phase 2’ Grouse Research addresses some of the knowledge gaps regarding Scottish driven grouse moor management that were identified during our ‘Phase 1’ Grouse Research as well as gaps identifie
18 May 2020
The Islands (Scotland) Act 2018: Evidence needs for improving outcomes for Scotland’s island communities
The Islands (Scotland) Act 2018 introduced several measures to ensure that there is a sustained focus across the Scottish Government and the public sector to meet the needs of island communities, now and in future.
25 Feb 2020
2019 was an important year for Scotland's islands, with the development of The National Islands Plan, an increased focus on repopulation, and concern abou
12 Jun 2019
In recent months population trends in remote and Sparsely Populated Areas (SPA) of Scotland have become a political issue, not least due to fears about the likely impact of post-Brexit migration policy.
14 Jan 2019
The food and drink supply chain is dominated by small and micro businesses. In Scotland more than 95% of businesses in the sector employ less than 12 people. Many of these smaller companies have a common desire to grow and succeed but this can be is hampered by their size.
13 Dec 2018
This case study summarises ongoing work exploring how changes in the population of remote and rural areas in Scotland affect the social, economic and ecological resilience of these areas.
5 Nov 2018
SEFARI scientists, in collaboration with other research partners, provide evidence which informs the Scottish Government about the economic consequences of animal diseases.
16 Oct 2018
Scotland’s agricultural sector relies heavily on seasonal non-UK workers, particularly from central and eastern Europe, to meet its labour demand. Despite their importance for this sector, there was a lack of detailed information about them This case study draws on findings from SRUC’s recent study, funded by the Scottish Government, which aimed to improve our understanding of the labour market in Scottish agriculture.
17 May 2018
Blueberries have gained in popularity amongst UK consumers. Currently UK blueberries supply only 5% of demand and there is a huge opportunity to increase home grown supply.
28 Feb 2018
SEFARI is an important partner in ‘Make Innovation Happen’, which is an initiative coordinated by the Scotland Food and Drink Partnership.
12 May 2021 - 12:22
Agriculture bears the brunt of having to reliably supply food, ensure its own economic viability, while complying with environmental concerns. Farming comes under a lot of pressure to deliver produce, despite unfavourable climatic variation, changes in pest behaviour and the control of invasive plants.
27 Mar 2021 - 11:43
With the pandemic turning our lives upside down, the use of digital communication has accelerated overnight. Webinars, Teams meetings, Digital classrooms, Virtual brainstorming boards, to name but a few. They have all helped in keeping us connected from the safety of our own homes.