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Land Mobility and Succession in Ireland – facts & proposals Edmond Connolly CEO, Macra na Feirme – the young farmers of Ireland 27 th February 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Land Mobility and Succession in Ireland – facts & proposals Edmond Connolly CEO, Macra na Feirme – the young farmers of Ireland 27 th February 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Land Mobility and Succession in Ireland – facts & proposals Edmond Connolly CEO, Macra na Feirme – the young farmers of Ireland 27 th February 2013

2 Outline of Presentation The structure of farming in Ireland The age profile of Irish farmers Study findings Recommendations Action Conclusions

3 Structure of Irish farming 139,860 farms of which 99.8% were family farms, 54% farming as sole occupation. Average labour input per farm is 1.2 labour units. Average farm size 34 hectares. Beef and diary predominantly, some sheep, pigs & poultry. 10% of land in crop production.

4 Land Quality in Ireland

5 Age profile of Irish farmers 88% of farmers male and 12% female. 6.2% under 35 and 26% over 65 Average age of farmers increasing by 6 months every year! Primary means of entry is by gift/inheritance.

6 Land Mobility and Succession Study – Jan 2013 Many young people keen to enter or expand farming. Macra commissioned the study with industry support. 421 full time farmers, all over 50 years, surveyed. 100 farmers participated in focus groups/ meetings. 48% of households (operator +/or spouse) had other income source

7 Land Mobility and Succession in Ireland Succession 48% no farming successor identified because No children – 29% Not yet decided – 24% Children not interested – 20% 40% would like to retire in future (+45% possibly) Not influenced by enterprise or area farmed

8 Land Mobility and Succession in Ireland Farmers without Farming Successors 5% received formal advice/information (+12% informal) 52% accountants and 24% solicitors 59% no concerns about succession/inheritance Consideration of future options Reduce intensity, change enterprise & seek help (94% +) Renting (78%) & long term leasing (74%) 28% consider selling & 27% forestry 20% aware of leasing tax exemption (+28% uncertain of details) Mistrust and scepticism about long term leasing

9 Recommendations Information Information guide on options (focus on those without farming successors) Generate discussion and debate Regular media features (case studies) Programme for professionals Consider support within RDP Awareness of current incentives Maintain existing supports Promote long term leasing & tax exemption

10 Recommendations Consider new models of collaboration Partnerships Share farming Long leases Other contract arrangements Promote concept of retirement & retirement planning Brokerage service Policies to encourage mobility Working group to pursue issues

11 Actions Macra has secured funding to recruit a Land Mobility Programme Manager – April National Farm Advisory service (Teagasc) have new action plan on collaborative farming All stakeholders willing to promote new mechanisms for young farmers to enter and expand farming.

12 Conclusions The family farm model in Ireland is the predominant model of land ownership. There is a defined need to promote different forms of land use as many owners do not have identified successors. Policy support through the Rural Development Programme could accelerate the adoption of other collaborative means of farming in Ireland.

13 Supporting Irelands young farmers


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