Macra na Feirme has said that it has written to Green party MEP, Ciaran Cuffe, concerning his letter to banks regarding lending to young farmers for growth in their livestock enterprises.

To date, the young farmer organisation said that no response has been received regarding an invitation to meet.

Earlier today (Thursday, December 9), MEP, Ciarán Cuffe, broke his silence on the letter he sent to banking chiefs regarding loans to young dairy farmers.

Speaking on RTÉ radio, the MEP said he was “wrong to single out young farmers” in the letter.

Macra response

Macra na Feirme president, John Keane said: “It would appear that this politician has little interest in solution design or engagement with the Irish citizens that his comments directly impact – young farmers.

“The Green party MEP grandstanding today on RTE1 Radio has done little to appease the anger among Macra na Feirme’s young farming members.

“It reinforces the common belief among the farming community and young farmers that the Green party [has] little regard for life outside the M50,” added Keane.

At the recent annual Macra na Feirme conference, attendees heard from Eoin Lowry of Bank of Ireland that across all farms in Ireland, only 30% have debt on farms. The level of debt across all farms decreasing by 25% over the past decade.

“It may come as a surprise to those flying back and forth to Brussels on aircrafts that are currently not included in any climate targets of actions, that Irish young farmers are leading the way in environmental practices,” Keane continued.

The Irish livestock sector is widely regarded as a global leader in terms of emissions and embracing environmentally friendly measures, according to the farm organisation.

The next decade poses challenges for all sectors in terms of meeting climate-related targets but Irish young farmers are ready to adopt science-based economically sound solutions that deliver a global future, Macra said.

Macra na Feirme has added that it wants to engage constructively with MEP Cuffe and wishes to outline the positive role young farmers are playing and will continue to play in climate action.