Young farmers are 'sacrificial lambs'
Young farmers are being treated as the "sacrificial lambs" when it comes to schemes to funding the sector, the Macra president has warned.
Sean Finan hit out at the confirmation there would be no Basic Payment National Reserve in 2016 for young farmers.
He described it as a "huge blow" for younger people looking to get established in farming and access entitlements in their own right.
Agriculture Minister Michael Creed said there were 6,000 successful applicants to last year's National Reserve Fund which was based on a 3pc cut to the Basic Payment Scheme and provided €24m in funding.
"As all of the National Reserve funding has been utilised, there is no funding available to cover the operation of a 2016 National Reserve," Mr Creed told Fianna Fail's Wicklow TD Pat Casey.
Mr Creed said the only source of funding for 2016 will be from 'clawback' of the sale of entitlements without land and it is expected to be minimal.
He said it would be replenished from unused entitlements from 2017 onwards.