Access to Land for Young Farmers Once Again Being Disrupted
Commenting on the creation of the Gresham House Irish Forestry Fund with Coillte and the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, Liam Hanrahan, Chairman of Macra’s Agricultural Affairs committee said this is not the correct approach for the expansion of forestry in Ireland and it will have a negative impact on generational renewal and access to land for young farmers.
The lack of generational renewal is the biggest treat to Irish agriculture and “the consequences of an English investment fund putting further pressures on an already highly inflated land market will have major consequences for land mobility and access to land for young farmers. This will put further pressure on land prices and the ability of young farmers to access the finances required,” said Mr Hanrahan.
The EU Commission’s view on Irelands Strategic plan already observed a lack of direct support in addressing access to land for young farmers to achieve generational renewal. This investment fund will compete with young farmers for land, having a major impact on the viability of young and new entrant farmers and further calls into question Ireland’s commitment to achieving meaningful generational renewal and supporting young farmers to access land.
“This development would make one question whether it's in line with the strategic objectives of CAP from an EU perspective, along with the allocation of forestry premiums and further questions from a carbon perspective. The greatest restrictor for young farmers continues to be access to land and access to finance, this fund will exacerbate the situation for young farmers, and is a backwards step for land mobility in Ireland. We are making a bad situation worse, and we need to rethink the approach", Mr. Hanrahan concluded.