74{b28040870e2dde01f25bc5b483275391226143b34751c4bb8f1feeecaec925a1} of Macra members say ‘active farmers’ should undertake a farm safety course

According to Macra’s CAP 2020 consultation report, 74{b28040870e2dde01f25bc5b483275391226143b34751c4bb8f1feeecaec925a1} of young farmers believe in order to qualify as an active farmer, a farm safety education course should be undertaken.

Following months of discussions with hundreds of farmers throughout Ireland, Macra na Feirme has published its report on what Irish farmers want from CAP 2020 and identifies the issues they are most concerned about in the coming years.

Macra’s report says there is a need to address the health, safety and wellbeing of farmers through training, education and innovation.

“Across Europe, there is a need to ensure adequate awareness of the health and safety risks of farmers,” it says. “Macra na Feirme supports the CEJA proposal that farmers would receive a free, yearly health and wellbeing checkup and would have to participate in a free mandatory health and safety course to be classified as an active farmer.”

Of the young farmers who contributed to the report, seventy-four per cent of said that a farmer should undertake a mandatory farm safety education course to qualify as an active farmer.

The report said Macra is also very much in favour of the CEJA proposal for active farmers to gain access to farm relief for a variety of unworkable circumstances, such as sickness, injury and bereavement, as well as relief to cover maternity and paternity.

The future of agriculture in Europe is facing numerous very real and serious threats and therefore the measures included in CAP 2020 will make it one of the most critical reforms since introduced.

There is mounting pressure on the CAP budget from many other sections within the EU Commission. It is imperative the budget is maintained or enhanced to provide farmers with the direct payments they require to: overcome volatility in the markets; protect the environment; and maintain the countryside for the benefits of all Europeans, the report said.

The decrease in funding to the EU budget as a result of Brexit cannot be used as a scapegoat to lower the level of support farmers receive. A redefining of the active farmer and redesign of the direct payment model will allow for the refocusing of payments to active farmers, the report concluded.

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