Long-term leasing the most popular arrangement in Land Mobility programme

Long-term leasing proved to be the most popular arrangement in Macra na Feirme’s Land Mobility Service pilot programme – over the course of three years.

Macra published the results of the programme recently, revealing that some 282 arrangements were put in place during the pilot.

This resulted in almost 25,000ac being farmed by young, trained farmers, according to Macra. The average farm size was 91ac.

From the 282 arrangements facilitated; long-term lease arrangements proved to be the most popular, with 128 organised under the programme.

This compares to both partnerships and share farming, where 57 and 51 agreements were put in place respectively. A total of 38 farm-to-farm (contract rearing, cow leasing, contract production) arrangements were also set up.

Meanwhile, 2017 is set to be a transition year. The type of the eight arrangements organised so far this year have not yet been determined, Macra added.

Co. Cork represented the highest proportion of arrangements, with 61 agreements put in place over the past three years. A total of 49 arrangements were organised in Co. Kilkenny, with an additional 22 arrangements set up in Co. Mayo.

Some 45% of the client profile of Macra’s Land Mobility Service pilot programme was made up of landowners looking to step back from farming.

New and potential operators accounted for 26% of the profile, while the remaining 29% represented expanding operators, figures show.

Programme surpassed all expectations

The Land Mobility Service programme has expanded year-on-year, surpassing all targets and expectations since its initiation, Macra na Feirme National President, Sean Finan, said.

The programme seeks to facilitate new collaborative arrangements between farmers – such as farm partnerships, shared farming agreements and long-term leasing. It has surpassed all expectations during the three-year pilot programme.

2016 saw the service really establish itself, facilitating 144 arrangements out of a total of 282 in the past three years, he said.

“This initiative would not be possible without the financial support of the FBD Trust, the three pilot area co-ops – Aurivo, Dairygold and Glanbia – and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine,” he said.