In its pre-budget submission Macra na Feirme has called for a new service to support our farmers Macra na Feirme is calling for a Farm Assistance Programme to be established for our 120,000 famers as part of its pre-budget submission.
Macra na Feirme is proposing that a Farm Assistance Programme be introduced, this programme would cost €1.2 million to implement, costing an average of €10 per farmer. According to Macra, the provision of a Farmer Assistance Programme can provide farmers with the practical assistance and emotional support they require in order to take proactive measures in times of crisis. This assistance programme would cover a full spectrum of issues such as; stress management and resilience, work-life balance and effectiveness, wellness, conflict resolution and financial planning. It is envisaged that the programme would have various avenues available for farmers to engage with the service, including helplines and one-to-one discussions to assist them in dealing with challenges they may be facing. Other measures proposed in the submission include the removal of a current anomaly whereby a farm house transferred separately from other agricultural assets does not qualify for agricultural relief and also the introduction of tax relief on the leasing of farmland between family members. Commenting on the submission, Macra na Feirme National President James Healy said: "Since Budget Day 2018 we have had the toughest weather conditions ever faced by farmers. Extremes of rain, cold and heat have led to high input costs and even higher levels of stress for farm families all over the country. The Government needs to show its commitment to young farmers by addressing both, the immediate issue of high stress levels amongst farmers and also, the long-term funding required to have a serious impact on issues threatening the futures of our young farmers. I believe we have put together a package of positive, but realistic measures that can make a real difference."