I feel I must correct the impression that Richard Wright gives on Icelandic agriculture in his "Euro Notebook" of July 7. to state that "Iceland can afford to pay farmers to create the countryside people want to see or to have any home produced food at all" is blatantly wrong.

Iceland was exporting over 30,000 live four-year-old wedders per annum to Scotland in the 19th century as well as 1000 ponies that were excess to their eating requirements. They introduced Agri. Colleges before us and were ahead of the EU in traceability, having imported foot-and-mouth disease in the 1920s.

Their ambition is to be as self-sufficient as possible rather than have a pretty countryside and to that end they are highly successful in that they have no need to import beef, lamb, dairy products or fish. They even export fruit and veg. using the long summer days with the assistance of geo-thermal heat in their greenhouses. They are overall 50-60% self sufficient.

They can afford to support agriculture now thanks mainly to the rapidly expanding tourist industry. But were in a much worse financial state than Britain in 2010. In fact their level of support is only just above EU levels but decreasing.

They have had many periods of starvation and near starvation and so it is in-bred to be as near self-sufficient as possible. I wish that this country had the same attitude. Unfortunately a big American store is now starting to undercut local produce. A sign of things to come for us, I fear.

Kind Regards

Campbell Slimon

Feith Buidhe,