UFU and YFCU plan to launch land mobility scheme in NI
Thursday, 19 November, 2015
To help get more young people into farming the Young Farmers Clubs of Ulster (YFCU) and the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) are planning to launch a new land mobility scheme for Northern Ireland. Earlier this year YFCU and the UFU developed plans for a land mobility initiative, similar to the pilot scheme already in place in the Republic of Ireland. The plan is to put older farmers facing this challenge in touch with younger farmers wanting to get into the industry. Both can then jointly develop long-term operational and financial plans for the farm – a classic mix of experience and youth coming together to the benefit of both.
According to the Irish Land Mobility Service just six per cent of farmers south of the border are under 35, while more than a quarter are over 65. This age imbalance is compounded by many older farmers not having a farming successor.
As a starting point a survey of several hundred UFU members is currently underway by Countryside Services. The information about the scale of the problem is vital Northern Ireland are to make progress with a land mobility scheme. The intention is to create a broader range of succession options that would not otherwise be available to retiring or retired farmers. This will create a win/win situation for both the older farmer and the developing young farmer. After the survey is completed, the YFCU and UFU hope to launch the full land mobility initiative in the first half of next year.