Early re­tire­ment scheme the ‘miss­ing link’

Irish Independent - Farming - - NEWS -

THE “miss­ing link” in the drive to get more young peo­ple to be­gin farm­ing is the lack of an early re­tire­ment scheme, it has been claimed.

The ICMSA de­scribed the need for in­cen­tives to both age groups as key.

“Along with the young farmer schemes, we will need to see a prop­erly funded ‘early re­tire­ment’ type scheme in the CAP post 2000,” said the ICMSA’s Pat McCor­mack af­ter a Young Farmer Pol­icy event with Tea­gasc.

“The em­pha­sis so far has been on the ‘com­ing’ of age side of the han­dover with not enough at­ten­tion be­ing placed on the ‘go­ing’ gen­er­a­tion. This is the miss­ing link,” he stressed. He also de­scribed as “spu­ri­ous” the five-year rule that lim­ited en­trants to the young farmer scheme to those that had started within that time pe­riod.

Macra na Feirme said a com­bi­na­tion of in­cen­tives to al­low older farm­ers to step back and re­tire is vi­tal for gen­er­a­tional re­newal to be suc­cess­ful.

Macra pres­i­dent James Healy warned the his­tor­i­cal “stop-start” na­ture of the young farmer scheme has been detri­men­tal.

He said the cur­rent five-year rule as­so­ci­ated with the young farmer mea­sures is “too in­flex­i­ble”.

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