Pursuing farm exit policy won't deliver for the future of Irish Agriculture
Macra na Feirme President John Keane has said that its young farmers across the country are extremely angry and disappointed that the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine are actively pursuing a land exit scheme for dairy farmers.
Minister for Agriculture, Food and The Marine Charlie McConalogue confirmed today to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Environment and Climate Action that he would introduce an exit scheme for dairy farmers in 2024. Under the proposals seen by Macra the land that would enter this scheme would no longer be available for use to breed animals.
Mr. Keane said "this will undoubtedly reduce the stock of land available for farmers who wish to rear breeding animals, it will further increase the price of land paid for lease and sale. It will put pressure on our tillage sector to compete for land and negatively affect the government's targets to increase the tillage area in Ireland."
With less than 6% of active farmers under 35 The Minister needs to pursue a succession policy in farming and not an exit policy. This measure, if proceeded with in a manner that is excluding the future of farming in Ireland will further reduce the amount of young farmers who are the future of both the agricultural industry and food production in Ireland.