Farm Ireland

Tuesday 24 April 2018

How do young farmers get access to 25,000 acres of land?

Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

Over the past three years Macra has helped 25,000 acres of land across Ireland pass into the hands of younger farmers.

Its Land Mobility Service is responsible for 282 land arrangements, as part of a pilot programme, and will now be rolled out nationally.

The service came about because of the lack of land available to young farmers – statistics show that 25pc of farmers in Ireland are over 65 years of age and 48pc have not identified a successor.

Last year the service helped 144 arrangements, which included farm-to-farm arrangements such as contract rearing; cow leasing. It also helped 51 cases of share farming, 57 partnerships and 128 long leases be established.

It had its most success in Cork and Kilkenny with these counties accounting for 61 and 49 transactions respectively.

One of its success stories is Kevin Moran, a winner of the Macra na Feirme Young Farmer of the Year competition, who despite having no land is now milking over 200 cows on leased. Another young farmer who was helped through the scheme is James Moloney who grew up on a small dairy farm in Cork that is run by his father and brother. Through the scheme James is now in a share milking partnership with a  progressive land owner in Limerick.

Macra recently launched details of its land mobility three-year pilot programme and said the service had allowed hundreds of young farmers gain access to land and resources while still allowing older farmers maintain the ownership of their land.

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