Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (818)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

818. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if his Department has studied the average price of rent paid per hectare in County Galway; if so, the average price; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45349/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

My Department’s “Annual Review and Outlook for Agriculture, Food and the Marine 2019” provides up to date information and statistical analysis on a wide variety of topics impacting the agri-food sector. It includes an overview of “Land Prices and Land Mobility”, including the “Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland/Teagasc Land Market Review & Outlook 2018”, which showed the following average rental prices per acre in Connaught/Ulster by land use:

Land usage

Average Rental 2018 €

Graze/Meadow/Silage

160

Grazing only

141

Cereal Crops

179

Roots/Maize/Pulses

183

Potatoes

252

The “Agri-taxation Review” identified increasing the mobility and the productive use of land as one of its key objectives. A number of measures to rebalance the rental sector in favour of long-term leasing have been introduced in recent years. Long-term leasing has a number of advantages over the short-term conacre system: it allows progressive farmers to enlarge their farm holdings and increase productivity; it provides young farmers and new entrants cheaper access to land as opposed to the relatively high cost of ownership; it provides security of tenure and the certainty required to encourage lessees to maintain and make an investment in improving land and is especially important in accessing bank credit. It also provides a route to retirement for older farmers, assisting in generation renewal.