Young farmers’ organisation, Macra has said that it has received a commitment from the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar that he will review its proposed farm succession scheme.

Macra national president Elaine Houlihan and agriculture affairs chair, Liam Hanrahan attended the Taoiseach’s roundtable meeting with farm organisations to discuss policy priorities from the farming organisations yesterday (Thursday, May 24).

Macra has long proposed an on-farm succession scheme that supports the older generation of farmers to step back, while also supporting the younger generation in their desire to become active farmers.

“We are pleased that the Taoiseach has given commitment to review our farm succession scheme, a scheme which was supported by other farm organisations yesterday,” Houlihan said.

“We are hopeful that this will be included in the upcoming Budget. Farm succession is vitally important to secure a future for young farmers throughout Ireland.”

Macra’s proposed farm succession scheme would financially reward a landowner who intends on stepping back from farming, while also incentivising the new entrant young farmer to implement all applicable environmental measures to reduce the carbon footprint of the farm.

In doing so, Macra believes it will increase the farm’s economic, social and environmental sustainability.

The organisation has argued that this would provide major opportunities for land mobility, generation renewal and the prosperity of rural Ireland, while enhancing the environmental credentials of the grass-based system of food production. 

Farm succession

Meanwhile, tax relief and farm succession are two of the major issues facing rural Ireland that need to be high on the agenda in the run up to Budget 2024, the Fine Gael parliamentary party was informed last week.

According to Fine Gael’s Agricultural, Food and Rural Development Forum (NAFRD), feedback from an estimated 2,500 people shows that the transfer of family holdings from one generation to the next is a major consideration that should be addressed.

The NAFRD, which was formed to serve as a representative body for rural Ireland’s Fine Gael members and the parliamentary body, have held a series of events, including two regional conferences over the past six months.