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£6m for struggling Scottish farmers

Richard Lochhead visited Dumfries and Galloway farmers in April Credit: ITV News Border

Farmers who were badly hit by the heavy snow this spring are to be given £6 million in aid by the Scottish Government.

The Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead visited farmers in Dumfries and Galloway last month after snow storms killed hundreds of livestock and damaged buildings in the south of the country.

Mr Lochhead pledged the cash in an address to the Scottish Parliament today.

The Scottish Liberal Democrat MP for South Scotland, Jim Hume, welcomed the funding package but urged the government to target farmers most in need as soon as possible.

The President of NFU Scotland, Nigel Miller, has welcomed the announcement.

He said:

"This significant package of support is a very positive result which, for many people, could provide the lifeline they require.

"Some of the worst storms of recent times might now have passed, but they have left in their wake losses for every farming sector, a legacy which will have its full impact this autumn when lambs are sold and crops are harvested.

"There are some areas of the country where the winter snowstorms devastated, but the severe weather problems of 2012 and 2013 have impacted not just in these areas but across the whole of Scotland resulting in livestock and crop losses, as well as significantly increased feed requirements.

"This variability has been recognised in the package of Government support and will mean that aid can be targeted at those in need wherever they are located.

"Many businesses will enter this winter with budget challenges due to significantly reduced income, compounded by increased input costs. This Government assistance will help businesses pilot their way beyond the winter and into 2014, when the real road to recovery will start.