Up to 700 ‘forgotten farmers’ to attend monster meeting

As many as 700 so called ‘old’ young farmers are set to attend a major meeting in Athlone on February 6 on what they see as their ‘unfair’ treatment under the latest CAP reform, according to its organiser Galway farmer Kenneth O’Brien.

O’Brien says it is hoped that the event will put pressure on the Department of Agriculture to find a solution for the cohort of farmers which find themselves unable to qualify for key new young farmer supports under the latest CAP reform.

Farmers in this category are under 40 years of age and have been farming for more than five years. Such farmers known as the ‘old’ young farmers have missed out on the previous installation aid scheme and, unfortunately, they currently will not benefit from the measures to be enacted under the CAP reform programme due to a five-year rule.

O’Brien says hundreds farmers could be in the category and he has been in contact with such farmers nationwide.

“It’s only in the last two months that a lot of people in this position have realised how serious the situation is for them and the long term consequences,” he said.

According to O’Brien all are welcome on the night and a range of issues affecting farmers in rural Ireland will be discussed.

The meeting takes place in the Hodson Bay Hotel on February 6 at 8pm. For more information call 086-0740024 or visit www.facebook.com/theforgottenfarmer.

Hope of ‘old’ young farmer in National Reserve (if there’s enough money)

So called ‘old’ young farmers may yet receive some support from the National Reserve, according to Macra President Kieran O’Dowd.

According O’Dowd, the organisation has raised the issue on several occasions with the National Reserve unit of the Department.

“We understand the Department is seeking approval from the EU commission to include additional categories (non-mandatory categories) in the National Reserve, subject to funds being available after the closing date of March 31,” he said.

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