The Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster and the Ulster Farmers’ Union say they are moving towards the introduction of a land mobility scheme to link young farmers with older farmers keen to retire, but who have no succession plans in place.
The joint group driving the project is now finalising the operational detail and funding arrangements.
Commenting following another meeting of UFU and YFCU representatives on this issue, Roberta Simmons, YFCU president said: “Our research has identified the need for this scheme. It will allow young farmers seeking to develop their farming career to become involved in the industry while enabling older farmers to take a step back.”
Ms Simmons added that the Land Mobility Scheme will help farmers and farm families considering expansion, changing enterprise, or stepping back from the family farm.
“As with every business, agreements must be financially beneficial and meet the needs of both parties,” she said.
UFU President, Barclay Bell added: “A key element will be matching people to opportunities. Together we intend to create a database of interested older and younger farmers that will help link to appropriate opportunities. The service will outline available options and will develop an agreement based on personal priorities and circumstances. Both UFU and YFCU believe this will open a much needed gateway to the agricultural industry and will benefit both the older and younger farming generations.”
To progress the scheme UFU and YFCU plan to meet with industry stakeholders, including DAERA Minister, Michelle McIlveen in the coming months. In the interim those interested in the scheme are encouraged to register their initial interest with Angela Scott at UFU on 028 9037 0222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or Heather Stewart at YFCU on 028 9037 0713 or email email@example.com