In the last instalment in its video series on Irish family farming Teagasc Director Gerry Boyle noted that virtually all farming activity in Ireland is undertaken by family farms and its absolutely central to agriculture in Ireland.
He added: “The family farm has shown to be very adaptive in virtually every country in the world. There will be fewer farms. The process of consolidation will continue and there will be larger farms. But for those that stay in the business they will continue to be resilient.”
Prof Mary Daly of UCD who also features in the video said: “Family farms are one of the absolute core communities of Irish society. I don’t think you can understand Irish politics, I don’t think you can understand Irish society without understanding the family farm and its impact goes well beyond those who fills in farmer on the census.”
“When you think to have a profitable and good agricultural sector you need people who understand nitrogen, who breeds of cattle and strains of crops. So there is all the scientific knowledge you need. But if you look at all of western Europe and you look at who’s doing it. It’s a family highlighted Prof Sally Shorthall of Queens University
Prof Willie Daly of UCC outlined that “Over the last 20-30 years the balance of what we define as urban and rural in the census is 60%- 40%. It hasn’t changed which suggests rural renewal is going on
I think we have been taking agbout the demise of the family farm for many years. I think it is pretty resilient.”
Dr Caroline Crowley also of UCC concluded that what’s really key for society particularly rural society and rural economies is that having farming families maintain them sustaining them supporting them in some of the most remote inaccessible areas. Its about literally keeping the community alive.”