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“A generation of young farmers are being betrayed by this Government.”

Independent TD Carol Nolan has said that she fully supports the decision by Macra na Feirme to engage in a number of ‘days of action’ culminating in the presentation at Government Buildings on 26 April of a series of proposals developed around the theme ‘Rural Revival, Steps for our Future’.

The Laois-Offaly Deputy, who has been highlighting the need to develop constructive measures around generation renewal for a number of years, said she is particularly concerned by Macra’s analysis which suggests that there has been no meaningful engagement or recognition by Government on a farming succession scheme:

“As an organisation, Macra represents a vibrant and energetic community of 10,000 young people from rural Ireland, who, it has to be said are being betrayed by the soul-destroying inertia and policy failures of this and previous Governments,” said Deputy Nolan.

“Young farmers and rural young people desperately want to contribute to the rural economy and to put down roots in the communities that they love, but unfortunately those aspirations are being curtailed or obstructed at every turn due to an unwieldy and inflexible planning system, the imposition of quotas on young farmers and a chronic absence of rural transport links as well as the decision to rewet enormous tracts of rural land.”

“If the Irish family farm and Irish agriculture is to have any future at all then Government and policy makers must engage with representative bodies like Macra na Feirme and more importantly, they must take the actions required that will enable a new generation of young people to make a living in the very rural communities this Government says it is committed to,” Deputy Nolan concluded.

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