YFCU president Roberta Simmons has welcomed the confirmation by DARD Minister Michelle O’Neill that the Young Farmers’ Payment for 2015 has now been set at €81.28 per hectare.
“The payment provides an incentive to attract and keep young farmers in the sector,” she said.
“The payment provides an incentive to attract and keep young farmers in the sector.”YFCU president Roberta Simmons
“It will also help to finance an increase in the existing holdings through the turnover within the farm, helping to make the holding profitable thus promoting a generational turnover.
“This should assure the survival of the holdings and the industry in the long period. However, we still have minor concerns and in the coming weeks we plan to work closely with DARD should applicants be unsuccessful for the top-up.”
Simmons confirmed that the YFCU had worked closely with Department of Agriculture staff to ensure the development of young farmer support measures that meet the specific needs of farm business throughout Northern Ireland.
“A new era has dawned, not just here, but for agriculture as a whole throughout Europe,” she said
“Young farmers have been officially recognised within the new CAP arrangements as being a critical stakeholder group within agriculture, one which will play a key role in determining the future shape of the industry.
“YFCU is the voice of young farmers here in Northern Ireland. And we are committed to ensuring that the views of members are taken on board by decision makers locally, nationally and in Brussels.”