Land access is still the biggest obstacle for young farmers
Macra CAP 2020 report calls for mandatory start-up aid package for under-40s
More than 40pc of young farmers say access to land remains the biggest obstacle to establish or expand their farms, a new Macra na Feirme CAP 2020 report has found.
The farm organisation, which today launches its 'CAP 2020 Young Farmer Roadmap for Generational Renewal', is calling for a "mandatory young farmer top-up" for all farmers up to the age of 40, and the abolition of the five-year rule, to ensure equal treatment and access for all.
Generational renewal is one of the European Commission's key priorities in the upcoming CAP reform. Other priorities include greater market resilience and more sustainable agricultural production.
The Macra policy, which focused on generational renewal, was developed after a national consultation process with around 1,000 young farmers.
Macra are the first farm organisation to gather public views on upcoming CAP reform.
Findings show 44pc say land is the main barrier to their farming ambitions, with access to finance the next biggest stumbling block at 35pc.
Macra president, Sean Finan, believes a start up aid measure, targeted toward offsetting establishment costs and capital inputs, should be introduced across all member states as part of the Rural Development Programme.
"Access to land remains the biggest barrier and there needs to be a mandatory start up aid package. We are one of only four countries across the EU that doesn't offer a start up aid scheme," he said.