The Labour Party has launched its policy proposals on agriculture called ‘Towards a Living Land’.
Labour Leader, Ruari Quinn said rural Ireland was turning into a dormitory for commuters where only large farmers could survive.
"For the last five years the Department of Agriculture has been titled the Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Environment. In reality however, rural development has only been paid lip service," he said.
"In the record of agricultural achievements published last week, Fianna Fail failed to mention rural transport, women in rural Ireland or employment in rural areas."
Labour TD Willie Penrose said Labour would support farmers on the basis of need, and would favour those with the highest standards.
"That way, the focus would not solely be on high yield, and would instead encourage more environmentally friendly methods and practice," he said.