Lack of action from the Government to financially support the Land Mobility Service is driving out any opportunity for young people to gain access to land, as changes to nitrate bandings loom, Macra has said.

According to Macra, at its national conference on 29 October this year Minster for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue gave a commitment to increasing the support for the Land Mobility Service, subject to a submission by Macra as to what was required to support and develop the service.

Macra president John Keane said: “Macra submitted a detailed proposal that would see the service develop and have national coverage to assist farm transfers and land arrangements.

“The service has been established for over seven years and has been highlighted at an EU level as a model for other member states to follow to support generational renewal.”

Land prices

Keane added that land lease prices are exceeding €500/acre as the pressure comes on farmers as a result of changes to the nitrates banding rules.

“Inaction on land mobility support and the changes to the nitrates banding is further driving out opportunity for young people in the sector.

“Young people simply cannot compete with well-established farmers who have the resources to pay higher prices for land,” he said.

The Land Mobility Service has been identified as a tool that can be used to allow young people gain access to land to start farming and to grow an enterprise, he argued.

“Macra has provided solutions to this issue in the form of the Land Mobility Service, what is needed now is for the minister to honour his commitment and provide the funding,” he said.