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The sharing and leasing options

THERE has been a rise in the number of retiring farmers considering share-farming or long-term leasing, according to Macra na Feirme.

Austin Finn, Land Mobility Programme manager with the farming body, said there has been a lot of interest in the scheme set up to help younger farmers access land.

Mr Finn said that in certain parts of the country where there is intensive farming underway the lack of movement or available of land is a "serious problem".

"In other parts of the country there is land available and there are people looking for people to go into partnership with," he said, with figures showing 26pc of farmers are over-65, while just 6pc are under-35.

The initiative, which was set up last year, currently has over 300 clients, with around 43pc landowners who are considering retiring or who have no successors in the family to take over the land.

"We've over 100 arrangements in place - the biggest element of them would be long-term leasing and share farming arrangements," he said.

"Share milking in the dairy is the most exciting - up to the first of April that couldn't operate in Ireland. Now there are no restrictions on the number of people who can produce milk.

"That is an exciting area and there are some arrangements on the ground in the area," he said.

Indo Farming