Macra na Feirme saw its income increase to €2.68m in 2019, up from €2.02m in 2018, on the back of increased grants and membership.
Macra’s annual report for 2019 shows that membership fees increased from €317,835 in 2018 to €387,674 last year, with CEO Denis Duggan stating that the association surpassed 10,000 members “for the first time in decades”.
Membership was boosted to 10,200 by 10 new clubs coming on board from a host of different counties, while six clubs were revived last year.
Duggan expects the trend in membership to continue upwards.
“The online portal for renewals and first-time subscriptions which was introduced in late-2017 has saw a doubling of members opting to join or renew online.
“We expect this trend to continue and are investing significantly in a member’s area online to support this increase in digitisation,” he said.
Under donations and legacies, Macra received a €75,000 grant from the Department of Agriculture and €498,009 from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs last year.
It received €216,739 in a Léargas grant and €6,500 from the HSE – two funding streams which were not available to Macra in 2018.
Income from program sponsorship, land mobility and the Skillsnet Ireland training fund all increased in 2019, while income from milk levies stood at €283,000.
Wages and salaries at Macra were down in 2019 on the year previous by almost €23,000, with the wage bill standing at €741,277 in 2019.
Macra will continue to implement its strategic plan 2017-2023, with the organisation due to undertake a mid-term review of the strategy this year.
Aside from the mid-term review, the primary focus for 2020 is maintaining the numbers of young people involved in Macra na Feirme clubs around the country and the number of staff and volunteers engaged with Macra na Feirme.
The annual report states that Macra will “continue to seek out alternative sources of funding to diversity our base of funding”. This will include growing the number of project specific applications made to various European Union sources of financing.
Sourcing new corporate sponsors for key activities remains a priority of the management team during 2020.