MACRA na Feirme national president Seán Finan highlighted the issues which young farmers face at the moment when he led a delegation to meet with new Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, TD, and his officials at Agriculture House in Dublin.
The Macra na Feirme delegation also included the chair and vice chair of its Agricultural Affairs Committee, James Barber and Thomas Duffy, as well as acting Macra CEO Derrie Dillon. The also discussed some of the areas Macra na Feirme will be working on with the Minister during his term of office for the betterment of young farmers and their businesses
Sean Finan said: ‘The agri tax review, which Macra na Feirme contributed to, as well as recent tax changes to incentivise long-term leasing of land has helped the mobility of land and we acknowledge the government’s work in this regard”
Some of the main items discussed at the meeting included:
The current income crisis and pressure young farmers face at the moment across the sectors including dairy, tillage and pigs.
The availability of a National Reserve in 2016 and how Macra is seeking a commitment from the Minister on the provision of a young farmer national reserve every year for the duration of the current CAP.
Delays in approval for young farmers who applied for TAMS2 grants. Macra welcomes the confirmation by the Minister and his officials that approvals have started to issue this week but highlighted how the delays to approvals is totally unacceptable and could not be allowed to continue.
Measures to address income volatility and the Macra na Feirme proposal for an income volatility bond were discussed.
Access to affordable credit for young farmers and availability of European Investment Bank funding.
The Minister confirmed that the Department are proceeding with an ex-ante assessment.
The issues with new entrant parent partnerships not being recognised in both the old CAP and new CAP.
Macra na Feirme received an update on seeking recognition for the ‘Forgotten Farmers’ as a group with specific disadvantage.
The resources to Teagasc to provide distance learning and online agricultural courses to young farmers was also discussed.
Farm safety and Mental Health difficulties which are two huge issues effecting our industry.