Macra na Feirme’s Land Mobility Pilot Programme Surpasses All Expectations

13 April 2017
Macra na Feirme’s Land Mobility Pilot Programme Surpasses All Expectations

Programme aims to improve generational renewal in Irish farming

Macra na Feirme’s Land Mobility Programme which seeks to facilitate new collaborative arrangements between farmers such as farm partnerships, shared farming and long-term leasing has surpassed all expectations during its three year pilot programme.

Since its launch in 2014, the service has facilitated 282 arrangements resulting in approximately 25,000 acres being farmed by younger trained farmers in collaborative arrangements.

Announcing the findings of the pilot programme report, Macra na Feirme National President  Sean Finan said, ‘ The service has expanded year on year and 2016 saw the service really establish itself facilitating 144 arrangements out of a total of 282 in the past three years. This initiative would not be possible without the financial support of the FBD Trust, the three pilot area co-ops Aurivo, Dairygold and Glanbia and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.’

Land Mobility continues to be a serious issue in Ireland, according to a 2012 Macra na Feirme Land Mobility and Succession report a quarter of Irish farmers are over the age of 65 and almost half of all full time farmers have no identified successor.

The Macra na Feirme Land Mobility programme aims to reduce that figure and combat the massive generational renewal issue Ireland is facing. Michael McBennett of FBD Trust and Chair of the Land Mobility Advisory Group said, ‘Given the challenges that the country and agriculture in particular is facing, such as Brexit, climate change etc and that we export the vast amount of our agricultural production, it is essential we become as competitive as possible by getting as much of our farm assets under the management and care of younger, trained and ambitious farmers. The continuation and expansion of the Land Mobility Service is crucial in this regard.’

Sean Finan added, ‘The Land Mobility Service is developing arrangements and opportunities which enable young farmers to access land more easily and take the next steps in their farming careers through economically sustainable collaborative arrangements. The Land Mobility Service ensures older farmers retain ownership of their land while they also see it farmed to its full potential by getting involved with an enthusiastic, energetic, educated young farmer in a collaborative arrangement.’

Launching the report today, Michael Creed TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine said: “This initiative has demonstrated real success in encouraging and facilitating collaborative arrangements between farmers. I am pleased that my Department has contributed the enabling policy environment to make these collaborations possible, as well as providing financial support for the Land Mobility Service and input to its Steering Committee.”

You can download the full report here: