Programme for government ‘must deliver on generational renewal’

The agriculture chapter of the programme for government agreed between Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party has received a cautious welcome from young farmer and rural youth organisation Macra na Feirme.

Reacting to the chapter, details of which emerged in the past 24 hours, a statement today, Monday, June 15, from Macra na Feirme said that it welcomes the commitment to invest in the next generation of farmers – but cautions investments must be significant.

In its pre-election calls, Macra highlighted a need for more than 10% of the overall national Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) spend to be dedicated toward young farmer measures and land mobility.

Commenting, Macra president Thomas Duffy said:

This next government must deliver on generational renewal. Young farmers will be watching very closely.

While reviews of promising practices in other countries are welcome, the rural youth organisation claimed that other countries are learning from Macra na Feirme’s Land Mobility Service “with similar programmes being replicated throughout the EU”.

Also speaking, newly elected Agriculture Affairs Committee chairman Shane Fitzgerald said:

“The Macra Land Mobility Service has proven so successful that the EU Commission has made recommendations based on it to other member states.

“The next government must ensure funding is available to grow the service beyond its existing success,” he added.

Macra also welcomed the commitment to funding the National Reserve. The National Reserve has been guaranteed for this year; however, questions remain over next year’s funding, the association warned.

“To see a commitment in the programme of government to ensure funding for National Reserve is an important step forward – that must be delivered on,” Duffy concluded.