Land mobility 'match-making' service increasing production by two thirds on farms

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Claire Fox

Claire Fox

Land and farm collaboration between young trained farmers and older farmers is delivering a 65pc increase in farm production on average, according to Macra na Feirme's 2019 Land Mobility Report published today.

Macra na Feirme’s Land Mobility programme which seeks to facilitate new collaborative arrangements between farmers such as farm partnerships, shared farming and long-term leasing has facilitated 521 arrangements sicne it began in 2014.

This has resulted in approximately 47,000 acres being farmed by younger trained farmers in collaborative arrangements in the last five years.

The report found that 80pc of arrangements involved a trained farmer under 40 with collaboration delivering a 65pc increase in production on average. On average two people were gainfully employed while three people were getting an income per farm.

In 55pc of cases land owners had no known potential collaborator in mind before entering the programme.

The average farm size taking part 90 acres, while long-term leasing has proved to be the most popular arrangement

Due to the abolition of milk quotas, dairying has seen the most participants at 61pc. However there has been engagement across all sectors, with 25pc of farms involved being beef, 61pc tillage and 2pc sheep.

Speaking at the report launch Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed said that the the Land Mobility programme was "essentially a match-making service" that provides a succession path for farmers.

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Meanwhile, Macra president Thomas Duffy stated that: "The fact that the service has provided facilitation for more than 500 arrangements is a testament to the hard work of a great many people, the value of the service in terms of generational renewal and opportunities for young farmers cannot be underestimated.

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