Speaking at the Macra na Feirme agricultural conference in the Riverside Hotel, Macroom, on 24 October, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan, recognised the difficulties young farmers have in accessing finance and said he is trying to address this problem at a European level.

“It is not acceptable, in Ireland, to have financial institutions charging 170 basis points more than they should for short-term loans available to farmers. Macra na Feirme and CEJA have been ploughing a lone furrow for far too long in relation to this issue,” said Hogan.