Older farmers need a Macra-style body to fight their corner
A Macra-style organisation is needed to help older farmers face issues such as succession, says a new study from NUI Galway.
The main finding of the study was that it's emotional rather than economic factors that are the hard issues farmers face when transferring the family farm.
A voluntary organisation like Macra for older farmers would help them remain active within the farming community and reduce the emotional stress around succession and land transfer.
"We recommended a version of Macra because there's nothing specific for the older generation of farmers," Dr Shane Conway who published the study, says.
"It could be funded through membership and government support. It would help to keep them active and involved in what they know.
"It would give them national representation and give them a presence at the top table of agriculture circles."
Dr Conway also believes that an older farmers' organisation could collaborate with Macra na Feirme on succession and other issues.
"Generational renewal is key for agriculture growth going forward but older people have specific knowledge.