Young farmers blast Smith
Published 31/08/2010 | 05:00
MORE THAN 96pc of young farmers feel that Minister for Agriculture Brendan Smith has not done enough to support them, a Macra na Feirme survey has revealed.
Suspension of installation aid and the early retirement scheme are believed to be the major cause of the overwhelming backlash against Minister Smith.
Macra president Michael Gowing said young farmers were dissatisfied with the Minister for Agriculture, his department and the Government's decision to suspend a scheme that was within budget and an important policy tool for restructuring agriculture.
The online Macra survey found that just 2.4pc of young farmers believe that the minister has done enough for them.
"The reality is that the Department of Agriculture needs to ensure that young, highly educated and skilled young people see agriculture as an attractive, rewarding and financially viable career option.
"Otherwise, if the Government doesn't act soon, there won't be any young dynamic primary producers to make the Food Harvest 2020 report a reality," he warned.
Despite being deeply dissatisfied with some policy decisions, the majority of young farmers surveyed were positive about the future.