Farm Ireland

Friday 15 December 2017

Ploughing Championships: It’s boom time for farming but most farmers still earn €20k pa


IRISH farmers are experiencing a great economic boom in comparison to most other areas of the economy, but most farmers still earn less than €20,000 a year, IFA President John Bryan admitted today.

Speaking before the launch of the 80th annual Ploughing Championships in Athy, Co Kildare, Mr Bryan said it was gratifying to see young people being attracted back into the agriculture sector.

"There is a good buzz in farming and a confidence about it that has not been there in recent times," he added.

However the IFA leader warned that despite the upturn most farmers still earned less than €20,000 a year.

Speaking on RTE's Morning Ireland, he said it was vital that current reforms in the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) in Europe didn't interfere with supports which meant that Irish people were able to stay on the land.

Farmers across Europe had higher costs to contend with and also faced higher environmental and welfare standards which to remain viable need compensation from CAP.

If the financial aid continued, it would open up the opportunity for Ireland to increase its food production at a time when most areas of the world experienced populations growth and needed more food.

"Support from the EU is the difference between farmers surviving and providing a platform to create new opportunities," he explained.

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Mr Bryan said that as will be evidence in Athy over the next three days when over 180,000 people will visit the Ploughing Championhsips, farmers will spend the money they earn in their own community, giving local economies a major boost.

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