Helping young farmers to access land is the greatest challenge facing modern agriculture, President Michael D Higgins said at the opening of the National Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska, Co Laois, yesterday.
He said Irish farming had changed “profoundly” since the championships were last held in Ratheniska in 1943, and there were many challenges facing the sector.
“Enabling young farmers to access the land they need to make a living in agriculture is the greatest of all of these challenges.
“The current age structure of Ireland’s farming population is a big issue. Only 6 per cent of Irish farmers are under the age of 35, and that is why I seek out and welcome and encourage those young people who are there.”
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