Alarm bells raised on succession as just 15pc of farmers have a plan in place
Just 15pc of farmers have a clear succession plan in place, a major survey has found.
And in more than six out of 10 cases either there is no interest from the next generation in taking over the farm, or the current owners haven't encouraged a successor because they don't believe the business is viable.
The findings are included in IFAC's 2019 Irish Farm Report which canvassed the views of more than 2,133 farmers.
The research found that just 14pc of those surveyed had a clear succession plan. Of the remaining 86pc of respondents:
* 26pc said they were not considering succession yet;
* 21pc said succession was not on the agenda;
* 20pc said a successor had been identified but not yet documented;
* 9pc said succession was on the agenda but no successor was identified;
* 8pc said they didn't know;
* 2pc gave an 'other' answer.
The survey found that 35pc of farmers over the age of 65 had a clear succession plan, while 12pc had a successor identified but not documented.
Twenty-two per cent of farmers between the ages of 60 and 64 had a clear succession plan, while 18pc had a successor identified but not documented.
For farmers in the 50 to 59 age bracket, 13pc had a clear succession plan, while 36pc had a successor identified but not documented.
The findings of the IFAC survey tally with those of a recent INHFA poll which found that a successor had yet to be identified by more than half of farmers aged 41 or over, while more than a quarter of those aged 61 or over are in the same position.
The IFA report stated: "Common reasons cited by survey respondents for the lack of a succession plan included concerns about viability, no clear successor and/or lack of interest among potential successors," IFAC stated.
Meanwhile, a new Macra na Feirme report on land mobility has that collaboration between young and older farmers can boost productivity by up to 65pc.
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