SIR, The First Minister on a number of occasions mentioned that he wanted Scottish farmers to increase food production.

We have sea eagles, badgers, foxes with limited control predating lambs, beavers demolishing river defences, and rivers not being maintained – causing flooding – on quality agricultural land.

There is a ban on the use of gene-edited crops, our supply of chemicals to control weeds and disease is diminishing, trees are still being planted on productive agricultural land, and many farmers are reliant on their own or family labour as they do not make enough profit to employ hired staff.

Most of this is government policy.

Humza Yousaf also stated that at least 70% of any payments would go into direct payments – with some environmental rules.

So, what are these rules? Nobody knows but they will have a negative effect on food production.

We live in an area of the world that has more than adequate rainfall for food production and I 100% agree with the First Minister that we should be maximising food production in Scotland. If he really believes this, he must get away from this idea that farming can be net zero. He must devise schemes to encourage farmers to invest in their farms with an underlying level of support to ensure they remain profitable.

I know – I live in cloud cuckoo land.

Stephen Withers, Jedburgh