'Young farmers see no optimism in beef and many are switching to dairy already'- Macra
Young farmers do not see optimism in the beef sector and are already switching to dairy, Macra na Feirme president James Healy has said.
Mr Healy stated that processors and retailers must “wake up” and realise that their future business is inextricably linked to providing an economically sustainable future for young beef farmers.
“Ten years could make a huge difference to the number of beef farmers in this country if we aren’t careful,” Mr Healy told a meeting of the Oireachtas Joint Agriculture committee on the future of the beef sector.
“Young farmers are speaking with their feet already. I recently interviewed for the Teagasc Student of the Year, we had a large number of people who had beef but who were considering switching to other sectors if it wasn’t dairy they were looking at sheep.
“They see currently no major optimism to go in to beef as way of having sustainable income. They don’t necessarily expect to be a full time beef farmer but even part time is very hard for them.”
Macra launched its Sustainable Beef Policy today where it set out proposals on how to create a viable beef sector for potential new entrants
Among the proposals are:
- Broader access to training and advisory services which can give beef farmers the knowledge and technical skills required to maximise the resource at their feet.