Farmer retirement scheme must allow young people to enter farming in any sector
The retirement scheme advanced recently by the Department of Agriculture has failed to support and facilitate generational renewal.
For many years now Macra na Feirme has been calling for a substantial farmer retirement scheme that has two main deliverables, firstly to financially support the retiring farmer while allowing that same farmer a genuine connection to the farm if they so wish, and secondly that the land that becomes available, be that through sale or lease, enters into the hands of young farmers regardless of enterprise.
Limiting the land use to certain enterprises will only further drive the costs of land leases which is a huge barrier to young farmers who want to enter the sector or grow their family business. It also means that by limiting the potential uses of the land that the owner has now an asset which is of lower value as there are only a small number of enterprises, including forestry, which can now be operated on that land.
“What is needed to support generational renewal across all enterprises is access to land and access to suitable finance to support the development of any and all farm enterprises. With food security an issue and the science that shows that young farmers are more productive it makes complete sense to get land into the hands of young farmers” said John Keane, Macra na Feirme National President.
“Young farmers require tangible support that will drive an increase in the number of young active farmers, and as we have stated before young farmers need the Minister of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to establish a target for the number of active young farmers by 2030” concluded Keane.