Coronavirus, Scottish Economy

Covid-19 and the Rural Economy

Emma Congreve is joined by Professor Andrew Barnes and Steven Thomson from Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) to discuss how the current pandemic is affecting the rural economy. Covid-19 has provided farmers and the domestic food supply chain with many challenges, and these differ by sector and within sector.

Another key plank of the rural economy, tourism, has seen demand disappear. Whilst many of the effects of Covid-19 will be the same in both rural and urban sectors, the predominance of these sectors in these areas presents particular challenges and perhaps opportunities. Covid-19 has emerged at the same time as uncertainty over future trade relations and financial support for agriculture post-Brexit.

In the final part of the podcast, we discuss some of the challenges coming up in the medium to long term. For those who would like to find out more, SRUC has a dedicated Rural Brexit Business webpage.



Emma Congreve, Economist and Knowledge Exchange Fellow, FAI

Professor Andrew Barnes, Professor of Rural Resource Economics, SRUC
Steven Thomson, Senior Agricultural Economist, SRUC

(2.17) Overview of the rural economy, agriculture & the domestic food supply chain in Scotland
(8.22) Impact of Covid-19 so far
(14.25) What support is there for the sector
(20.16) Impact on tourism and remote rural areas
(28.14) Medium to long term prospects, including Brexit


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The Fraser of Allander Institute (FAI) is a leading economy research institute based in the Department of Economics at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.