Farm Ireland

Saturday 20 January 2018

Just half would grow GM crops

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

ALMOST half of young farmers believe that cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crops would be positive for Irish agriculture, the Macra na Feirme survey found.

Some 47.2pc of farmers polled said GM cultivation would be positive but 23.6pc said it would be negative for Irish agriculture.

A large proportion of farmers (29.2pc) said they did not know whether it would be positive or negative.

However, when asked if they would consider growing GM crops, given the choice, 54.9pc of farmers said they would, while 45.1pc said they would not.

Macra president Michael Gowing said young farmers were renowned for embracing new technologies and this was demonstrated by the survey findings on GM.

"It's time we had a proper and frank debate on GM cultivation, one that is based on science and not emotive arguments," he insisted.

"We can't let a scenario continue where the Irish Government abstains on votes on GM at EU level."

Staying on controversial subjects, farmers were asked if they thought NAMA would succeed or whether it was doomed to fail.

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More than half (55pc) of respondents said NAMA was doomed, while 9.9pc supported the move. Over one-third (34.6pc) of farmers said they did not know.

Irish Independent