05 Jul 2022

Department of Agriculture has 'failed to support young people who want to enter farming' - says Laois based Macra President John Keane

Department of Agriculture has 'failed to support young people who want to enter farming' - says Laois based Macra President John Keane

Macra na Feirme President, John Keane

The Department of Agriculture "has failed to support young people who want to enter farming", says Macra President, John Keane.

Mr Keane was commenting on the recently published EU Commission summary observations on the proposed CAP Strategic Plans for 27 Member States.

"The EU Commission observes that Ireland is one of only three Member States that allocates the minimum amount of 3% of their initial direct payments to young farmers," said John Keane. 

"The remaining 22 other Member States allocate a higher amount. The EU Commission also outlines that 26 members states plan to fund young farmers through support for setting up their farming enterprise, all but one Member State has chosen to support young farmers through this route, with the outlier being Ireland.

"In Ireland's own observation letter the EU Commission observed a lack of direct support in addressing the issue of access to land for young farmers.  

"What this demonstrates is a complete lack of interest and support for young people in Ireland who want to enter farming. Once again, the Department of Agriculture has failed to support young people.  All other EU Member States are doing more to support generational renewal," stated the Macra President. 

"Macra na Feirme has consistently been advocating for more supports for young farmers, but it has fallen on deaf ears in Ireland.

“The only option left for Irish young farmers and young people thinking of entering farming is to seek intervention from the EU Commissioner to reject the plans for generational renewal and to set a target for the number of young farmers actively farming by 2027.

"This will be a results and performance-based approach in sharp contrast to the status quo which is being proposed by Irelands CAP Strategic plan in its current form,” concluded John Keane.   

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