Macra launches land mobility service

Macra na Feirme has launched a land mobility service to promote increased availability of land.

The service provides information and outlines options, as well as providing an ‘honest broker’ service for anyone looking to rent or lease land.
According to Macra, the ‘honest broker’ element is particularly important in that all parties will be fully respected and in particular the rights of the land owner.
The purpose of the service, it says, is to facilitate collaborative arrangements tailored to suit any specific situation.

These arrangements may be as simple or as complex as desired. They must be workable for all parties involved and can be within or outside the family or a combination of both. In many cases it is envisaged that the arrangements will evolve over
time, to help develop dynamic, progressive, and profitable farm operations.

In spite of the benefits and the availability of both templates and working examples the level of collaborative arrangements operating in Ireland is low, according to research carried out by Macra. It says this can be attributed to CAP reform and uncertainty associated with Single Farm Payment (SFP) entitlements, a lack of information and awareness, and land title security concerns.

Land mobility has always been an issue, only 6% of farmers are under 35 and 26% are over 65. This age imbalance is compounded by the fact that many older farmers do not have a farming successor. There have been numerous studies identifying the issues, these include:

  • Farming successor not identified;
  • Late transfer carrying from one generation to the next;
  • Uncertainty over available options and impact for CAP payments;
  • Desire for the land to be farmed but wanting to stay involved or keep family involvement;
  • Desire to enhance the farm for future generations but not able to do it themselves;
  • Security of income and property rights; and,
  • Lack of information and advice.

Average farm size in Ireland is 32ha , fragmentation is common, and the amount of land changing hands through sale or purchase each year is tiny. Collaborative arrangements can be the key to delivering Food Harvest 2020.

Find out more about the service on www.landmobility.ie

Pictured at the launch of the Land Mobility Programme were Kieran O’Dowd, Macra National President, Simon Coveney, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Andrew Langford, Group Chief Executive, FBD, and Michael Berkery, Chairman of FBD.

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