Information and awareness campaign key component
Commenting on the most recent agricultural CSO figures which showed that over one quarter of working farmers in Ireland were aged 65 and older, Senator Ronan Mullen said:
“More measures need to put in place to address the fact that not enough young people are choosing farming as a career option. The viability of small farms is important not just for the farmer and their families, but also for the local communities, economic development and ultimately for consumers to ensure reasonably priced supply of quality food.
“The Government has identified agricultural as a essential part of our economic recovery and yet is not doing enough to promote farming as a viable life-long occupation among young people. Because of the sustained hard work of groups such as the IFA, Macra na Feirme and others, there are financial and tax incentives to encourage younger farmers to enter the industry and clearly these incentives must remain. However there is a key component missing and I am calling on the Department of Agriculture to launch, as a matter of priority, a comprehensive information and awareness campaign aimed at young people which highlights the benefits of a career in farming. When farming thrives, communities prosper”, Senator Mullen concluded