Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has announced that his Department will double its contribution to the Land Mobility Service following what he described as “positive engagement” with Macra na Feirme.

The Department of Agriculture has provided annual funding to the service of €50,000 and this has remained the same since the service’s inception.

The doubling of the contribution will mean that the Department investment will be €100,000 in 2022.

Minister McConalogue made the announcement during an address to Macra members at the organisation’s national conference 2021: Climate, the Conundrum. Young Farmers - Up for the Challenge!

His statement followed a passionate address from Macra president John Keane on the challenges and opportunities for Irish young farmers and their future in the sector.

Commitment to generational renewal

The Land Mobility Service is a Macra initiative supported by the Department, FBD and a number of food processors.

The service provides options for land owners and opportunities for young farmers through advice on and facilitation of collaborative farming arrangements, including matching old and young farmers on land partnerships.

McConalogue said: “The land mobility service has been one of the great success stories of agricultural policy over the past few years and I'm a firm believer in using all the tools that are at our availability to leverage generational renewal."

Increased funding

He said: “I'm a firm supporter of the service and I know that as we transition through the next decade, the need to have an agile and fit-for-purpose mobility service will be crucially important.

“I'm pleased to announce that following positive engagement with John and his [Macra] team, I’ve decided to increase the Department's contribution by 100% for the year 2022.”

The Minister described his “commitment to facilitating generational renewal in our sector” and committed to “shortly engage with” Macra on reshaping the Land Mobility Service to ensure it is “robust for the future”.

John Keane welcomed the enhanced contribution and the Minister’s engagement on issues affecting young farmers at the conference.