Macra na Feirme President Kieran O’Dowd has called on Minister Simon Coveney to reintroduce an Installation Aid package in Ireland.

Speaking to Minister Coveney and invited guests at the opening ceremony of Macra’a annual conference this evening. O’Dowd said: “Under Pillar II of the recently concluded CAP negotiations there is explicit provision made for Installation Aid.  In addition, this measure can be financed more favourably under the Rural Development Programme. The fact that the EU are prepared to agree to such a high co-financing ratio means that Installation Aid is a key component of incentivising young farmers’ entry to agriculture.”

He continued:“We need to ensure that a new Installation Aid package is targeted at young trained farmers who are setting up in the industry for the long haul. Objective criteria is vital as well as a business plan and perhaps setting targets to ensure that the money is spent on what it is intended for. I believe that if set up in the correct way the package will be a significant boost to young farmers and consequently have a positive effect on rural communities thus meeting the objectives of the Pillar II Rural Development Plan.”

The Macra na Feirme Annual Agricultural Conference hosted by Carlow Macra an Feirme in conjunction with main sponsors Dawn Meats and Ulster Bank is being held in the Seven Oaks Hotel Carlow this weekend with the theme ‘New CAP, New Era’. Delegates will be discussing the new Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) along with guest speakers Mairead McGuinness MEP, Mike Brady President of Agricultural Consultants Association and Professor Alan Renwick of University College Dublin.

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