The Department of Agriculture, must prioritise and support all young farmers and not just new entrants to farming.
That’s the view of Macra na Feirme president, Kieran O’Dowd, who said the current proposals are seriously deficient in terms of supporting young people who commenced farming in the past number of years.
“A specific group of young farmers who missed out on young farmer CAP supports including Installation Aid and an inadequately funded single farm payment national reserve are being left out in the cold as the proposals currently stand,” he said.
Mr O’Dowd said the national reserve should cater for all new entrants/young farmers who are below the national average entitlement value.
The full young farmer top-up should be applied to all young farmers who have set up in the last five years.
“The young farmer on- farm capital investment aid again needs to be available to all young trained farmers and not just restricted to new entrants. For example, a farmer who commenced in 2009, who is still regarded as a young farmer and needs capital investment on farm, needs to be in a position to access the higher 60% grant rate,” he said.
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