Effect on Irish farming
the industry; these part-time farmers are a burden on the industry.
3. Hobby or lifestyle
This category may have inherited or purchased the land, but they genuinely enjoy part-time farming.
Income or profitability is never the top priority, it’s a means of getting away from the day job, a good environment to raise children or simply just a status symbol.
They are good custodians of the land and are very often open to receiving knowledge and new technology.
These farmers are often the best proponents of agri-environmental schemes. They will always exist even if there were no direct payments, they must be included in any future agricultural policy.
4. Off-farm career
This is a relatively new type of part-time farmer. A successful farm business profitable enough to be run with fulltime labour as the farm business owner works off-farm.
Some large established farm businesses where there are no farming successors fall into this category. Reduced or no subsidies would affect this type of farm business, but for most it would not cause the business to cease. A sign of a great business is one that can run without the owner’s involvement. This is the parttime farming of the future.
Overall, the recently improved income tax benefits from long-term leasing of agricultural land has caused many to question continuing the vocation of part-time farming.
It is a clear signal from government to part-time farmers to exit the industry.
Yes, we have small farm size and fragmented holdings in Ireland; this measure is good for improving this aspect of the industry.
However, we must also recognise all the part-time farmers who choose to continue to farm and find a way to include them in the future of our industry.
The CAP reform proposal that individual member states will be able to decide what is best for each country is the perfect opportunity for Ireland to acknowledge and plan the future role for parttime farmers in our industry — they are genuine and have lots to contribute.
50PC OF OUR FARMERS ARE PART-TIME, SO IT IS VITAL OUR INDUSTRY UNDERSTANDS WHAT MOTIVATES PART-TIMERS