CAP Gap of €310m For Young Farmers
Macra na Feirme is questioning the level of funding announced for the Common Agricultural Policy. Yesterday (October 20th), the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine along with the Taoiseach announced a near €10bn CAP budget from 2023-27, that according to Macra na Feirme is missing €310m for young farmer measures.
In reaction to the detail of funds announced, Macra na Feirme National President John Keane said “We have consistently voiced the need to support young farmers as they begin their farming careers. The funds announced are missing a Start-up Business Grant scheme for young farmers, a Retirement Scheme and funding for a Land Mobility Service. The cost of providing these valuable incentives to support generational change and encourage new farmers to start farming is approximately €310m over the next five years.”
“Young farmers are real environmentalists. The current generation and indeed the next generation of young farmers are more educated, informed and knowledgeable on best environmental practices. As young farmers, we are custodians of the local environment. Making farming attractive, and encouraging more young people into the industry through generational renewal initiatives like retirement schemes and a Land Mobility Service are good for our natural environment, climate change and biodiversity” added Keane.
“Encouraging young people to take up farming as a career is vital for the future of our overall agri-sector. Let’s be clear, young farmers are not climate deniers. We understand the challenges ahead, yesterday young farmers needed the Taoiseach and Minister for Agriculture to be bold, be ambitious and most importantly, be supportive, of the next generation. Instead, we have a budget that is short-changing the next generation by €310m.”
Keane continued: “Significant funds were moved into the Rural Development programme for environmental measures in particular, which is welcome. However, without young farmers entering the industry with supports like start-up business grants, there is a real risk that there will not be enough young farmers to avail of these positive agri-environment schemes.”
The Macra na Feirme President concluded his remarks with one simple question “Minister and An Taoiseach, where is the missing €310m for the next generation of young farmers?”