SIR, – Last week’s press carried an article regarding our future food supply. This might have amazed many people, but Friday, August, 21, 2020 was 'World famine day'.

It was reported that this could be the last day that we would be able to supply ourselves with food. We are now only producing 60% of the food we require and depend on imports to supply the rest. This is a really a stark warning and yet people do not seem to have taken much notice of it.

For instance, we are only four months away from starvation. I am not sure what our politicians are going to do about it, but they – like with everything else – appear to be waiting to see what happens, which will be too late. Their 30m delayed apologies will not be listened to, so the time has come for us to start preparing our land to supply our food necessities.

I lived on a croft in the Highlands of Scotland during the last war and while times were tough, we always had sufficient food that we grew ourselves. This could still be the case, but our politicians must look in earnest at this possibility.

If we start now, it is possible that this could actually be achieved. But first of all we must remedy some of the problems with regards to our land use.

Until now people from here and abroad can buy hill farms in Scotland and clear sheep stocks away and use the land as a playground. This is something that must be remedied immediately.

When I came to the district that is Breadalbane, 40 odd years ago, there were between 15 and 20 hill flocks roundabout us that no longer remain. This is the kind of thing that I would like to see remedied and indeed I think the people of our country would like to see it remedied as well.

Only recently, there was a stark warning with regards the size of sheep stocks in Scotland when the annual sale of North Country Cheviot lambs took place. This sale is usually used as a marker for the beginning of the lamb trade each year.

Unfortunately, due to the latest clearances in Sutherland, Lairg, numbers are only a third of what they used to be. This used to be the biggest one-day sale in Europe for sheep and is now a shadow of its former glory.

I could go on giving many instances of sheep stocks and family farms disappearing off the hills. This is being assisted by huge subsidies available for the people who buy the land. Quite often these subsidies seem to amount to the total they paid for the land.

This is unfair to the indigenous population of our country who generally know the best way to obtain the type of foods that our land can produce.

At least the president of the English NFU has responded to the call and I expect and hope that the Scottish NFU will also seriously seriously look at this situation. Our politicians seem to listen to the wrong type of people and get the wrong results. This must stop.

Alex Murray