November 24, 2023
“Generational Renewal must be addressed” MacManus calls for action following Ballyhaise Agricultural College visit

“Generational Renewal must be addressed” MacManus calls for action following Ballyhaise Agricultural College visit
Sinn Féin MEP believes young farmers must be guaranteed a future in agriculture through proper government planning now.
Chris MacManus, Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands Northwest recently visited Ballyhaise Agricultural College in Co. Cavan, where he and party colleague Cllr Paddy McDonald met with John Kelly the College’s Principal. The visit was part of an Agri-focused week of engagements for MacManus throughout the Midlands Northwest constituency. Speaking after the visit MacManus spoke of a need to guarantee a future for young farmers.
“It was great to be back at Ballyhaise Agricultural College here today and my sincere gratitude goes to Principal Kelly for meeting with me. When I meet with young people and students at Agri-Colleges like Ballyhaise, I always feel that there’s so much our government could be doing to safe-proof the futures of our young farmers. Generational renewal in Irish Agriculture is something I often highlight both here at home and at an EU level. It is an issue I directly work on, as If we don’t plan properly now, it will directly affect these young people.”
“The lack of generational renewal on Irish farms and across the EU poses an existential threat to the family farming model, and unfortunately, this paves the way for mass corporate farming and intensive agriculture. In essence, a way of farming without farmers and rural communities. We cannot allow this scenario to unfold. We need swift action to avoid it”
“Half of the agricultural population in the EU will reach retirement age within the next ten years. This percentage is particularly concerning, at a time where the price of land for sale or rent is so inflated. The situation is made worse by rising input costs, forcing many farmers to cease operations permanently.”
“The EU and the Irish government need to explore all options on the table to give priority to family famers as well as new and young farmers to ease access to land. More state support is needed to ensure land mobility to nurture generational renewal. It’s the very least we can do to guarantee a future for young farmers, many of whom are currently students attending Ballyhaise and similar Agriculture Colleges.” ENDS
Below: Chris MacManus MEP, Cllr Paddy McDonald & Principal John Kelly with students at Ballyhaise Agricultural College

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