Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has said there is no substitute to financial security when it comes to attracting young people into agriculture.

The minister was in front of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine to provide an update on CAP reforms.

The best way that we can incentivise generational renewal in farming is to give people a career pathway

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Fianna Fáil TD Jackie Cahill asked what would be in the next CAP for young farmers. Minister Creed said attracting young people into agriculture was an issue for every country, not just Ireland.

“The best way that we can incentivise generational renewal in farming is to give people a career pathway that will give them something comparable to what their peers have.

“Talk of lifestyle and the open air and working with nature only go so far. These people want what their peers have in other employments - whether that’s in terms of holidays, being able to provide for their children. And I think that's not an unreasonable expectation.”

Dairy

The minister said proof of this could be seen in the dairy sector, which has the youngest age profile of all sectors. He said this was because it was reasonably secure financially, although not with the ups and downs of market volatility.

In contrast, the minister pointed to the beef sector as being the most demographically challenged. He said it was a sector that needed to be encouraged and incentivised with supports to ensure there are career opportunities in it.

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