THE number of young farmers in Ireland has halved in the last decade and incentives must be put in place to encourage young blood, a Dail Committee was told. The Irish Farm Managers Association said that the latest Central Statistics Office figures showed only 6pc of farmers were aged under 35 in 2010.
This had plummeted from 13pc just 10 years earlier.
CSO figures show that the number of farms has remained relatively stable at around 140,000 over the last 10 years.
But the proportion of older farmers has soared while the number of young farmers has dropped. Spokesman Liam Myles said barriers to young farmers getting established must be removed and government policies must favour young skilled farmers who will actively farm the land.