Rural hardship

Speaking after co-chairing a farmhouse round table discussion with farmers and rural businesses who have suffered some form of hardship, Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said:

“Speaking out when faced with financial, emotional or any other kind of hardship is often one of the most courageous and difficult things an individual can do. We as individuals, are too often afraid of putting our heads above the parapet for fear of how that simple action will be received and interpreted by those around us.

“Listening to the various individual stories here today, it is absolutely clear to me that the most important thing an individual can do when faced with any form of hardship is to put up your hand up and say I need help.

“With the nature of rural life often meaning that individuals can be isolated at a time of need, early recognition of the signs of hardship within rural communities is essential if we are to ensure they receive the necessary support before events get away from them.

“The work of organisations such as RSABI is therefore paramount in ensuring the continued well-being of rural communities through the provision of emotional, practical and financial support to individuals and their families at their time of need. Listening to the impact RSABI has had on some of the individuals present here was truly heartening and showed the real commitment and breadth of support available to those in need.

“With significant uncertainty facing rural communities and businesses today, I would encourage anyone who may feel like they are struggling, not to suffer in silence. There are people you can speak to who can help.”


Fergus pictures with the RSABI team who provide one-to-one support to farmers and the agricultural community in times of need

Nina Clancy, Chief Executive Officer of RSABI said :

“Farming can be wonderful occupation, but that is not always the case. Misfortune such as an illness, accident, bad weather or a financial crisis can suddenly result in hardship, it can happen to anyone. However, there is always a way out of hardship and RSABI can offer appropriate help and support.

“We very much appreciated the opportunity to discuss the work RSABI is doing in rural communities and would join the Rural Secretary’s call for anyone experiencing hardship to speak up. This is especially relevant at the moment when there is so much uncertainty around the sector, the country and wider world.”



To contact or find more information about RSABI at their website 

or contact their helpline on
tel: 0300 111 4166