News & Press Room

Macra General Election Manifesto - Investing in Youth to Deliver Growth

05 February 2016
Macra General Election Manifesto - Investing in Youth to Deliver Growth

Macra has released our pre-election manifesto which focuses on the potential of investing in youth and young farmers as drivers of the growth agenda and delivering a multiplier effect that benefits and sustains rural areas.  

The key challenges faced by young farmers include farm progression, land access, farm investment and viability, access to credit, training and farm safety.

Bryan Hynes, Chairperson of the agricultural affairs committee, said, “Macra’s response to these challenges are to call for young farmer proofing of all CAP schemes to ensure they are favourable to all active young farmers and ensure there is an adequately funded CAP National Reserve”.

The manifesto also outlines that the encouragement and support for new forms of collaborative farming, resolving outstanding issues with existing partnerships and a favourable taxation code to favour active use of land is essential to overcome structural issues in Irish agriculture. Tackling income volatility through taxation measures and enhancing existing young taxation measures will help encourage young agri entrepreneurs to grow and develop businesses. Access to credit is also high on the agenda with Macra calling for the introduction of the European Investment Bank fund and the introduction of more targeted supports under the Rural Development Program to support investment in productive assets on farm. Finally, the resourcing of training, advisory and education is essential to satisfy current and future knowledge needs. 

The challenges facing rural youth include infrastructural deficits such as access to quality high speed broadband, employment and support services, transport and positive mental health initiatives.

Cara O’Mahony, Chairperson of the rural youth committee said, “The type of responses required are the full implementation of the CEDRA report which sets out priority initiatives for rural areas to develop and deliver sustainable growth.  High speed quality affordable broadband must be prioritised. Youth services and youth work needs to be further resourced as it has experienced significant cuts in funding. Access to third level education and prioritising positive mental health initiatives are also outlined in Macra’s manifesto”. 

Macra National President, Seán Finan, said, “In order to capture the potential of youth and young farmers as a driver for growth and the development of rural areas, Macra na Feirme is calling for the points in our document to be addressed in the next programme for Government”.      

The general election manifesto can be read in full here.