Young farmers need to be a priority both politically and financially

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Young farmers need to be a priority both politically and financially

The persistently low level of young farmers entering farming is a concern for the future of European agriculture and rural areas according to a report titled ‘generational renewal in the EU farms of the future.’  

Welcoming the production of the report, Macra president Elaine Houlihan said “to address the crisis in Irish and European agriculture, young farmers need be front and centre to all agricultural policy and budgetary decisions.  We need to move from talking and reporting about the lack of young farmers to achieving action and putting greater resources behind the issue.” 

The report by the EU Parliament Agriculture and Rural Development committee stresses that “generational renewal is key for the future social, economic and environmental sustainability of rural areas, EU food security and rural landscape preservation, and in particular for the future of agriculture, including for the diversity of sustainable farming systems and traditional family farming models.”

The Macra president added, “we now have ample evidence and reports, what we need is action at member state level.  The CAP is only one element, taxation policy and the introduction of favorable initiatives around finance and land access is essential at member state level.”

“The introduction of a succession model in Ireland where we support the control of vibrant farm businesses by young farmers is vital, our focus in the past has been on land assets rather than on the business as a going concern. We need to move the dial in favor of succession model and supports to encourage more young people into farming.  This is why Macra has proposed a farm succession scheme” Ms. Houlihan continued. 

In conclusion Ms Houlihan said “I call on our politicans at EU and Irish level to put young farmers first, to turn their words into actions and to support initiatives that secure the future of Irish agriculture and rural areas.”