Published: Thu, 19 October 2023
Sean Kelly, MEP for Ireland South, has welcomed the European Parliament’s call to increase funding by 40 million for young farmers in EU budget, describing it as “a move in the right direction to incentivise young people to get into farming”.
The EU budget needs a boost to provide “adequate” financial support to those who need it most and to respond to ongoing and future crises, MEPs agreed at Wednesday’s (18 October) plenary session in Strasbourg.
With 424 votes in favour, 101 against and 102 abstentions, the European Parliament set out its position for the inter-institutional negotiations to amend the EU budget for 2024, deciding how much more money should be spent and where.
Speaking during a debate on generational renewal in the EU farms, Kelly stated that he is “very concerned about, number one, the raft of legislation that they’re expected to comply with, and also they’re worried that their sons or daughters are not going to follow in their footsteps and the farm might fall out of the family farm’s ownership in due course into the hands of those, maybe, who have no interest in the land.”
Kelly continued by saying, “The problem is they feel under attack. Morale rather than profitability is the problem. We see it in Ireland, with the Citizens’ Assembly, with environmental agencies all blaming farmers for this, that and the other and giving them no credit for what they are doing.”
“They are doing an enormous amount to reduce emissions and are also doing a lot to improve biodiversity. And they will do more, but they need to be given credit for it. If they are given that credit, young people will be encouraged to go into farming because they love the land, they love the animals, but they do need positive feedback and it has to start now”, added Kelly