Fears Over Sustainability Of Farming In Clare

Picture ©: Pat Flynn

Fear has been expressed over the sustainability of farming in Clare, following a significant drop in the average price of agricultural land.

Latest figures reveal farmers’ assets have taken a hit of almost 800 euro per acre in value over two years on average.


It comes as concern is also being expressed over EU payments for part-timers.

Figures from the CSO show that the average price fetched for an acre of agricultural land in the MidWest is now around 6,240 euro – two years ago, this was around the 7,000 mark.

In what appears to be a depressed market, the number of transactions is also falling – in 2014, there were 311 separate sales, a figure that dropped to just 140 last year.

Clare county chair of the ICMSA Martin McMahon is concerned that poorer weather conditions is having an impact on the quality of land in this county.
Along with the drop in agri land prices, another challenge facing Clare farmers is the ongoing saga surrounding CAP payments.

Farming groups have long been campaigning for the EU to keep the higher rate of payment in place.

However, a draft communication of CAP post-2020 shows money will be provided to those who rely on farming for a living, as opposed to part-time farmers.

Martin Mc Mahon believes this will lead to these people questioning their future in the industry.

This is echoed by Fianna Fáil Councillor Pat Hayes, who’s a member of Clare County Council’s rural affairs committee.

He’s concerned about the knock-on impact this will have on future generations who’ll be taking over the land and says the onus is on the Government and the EU Commissioner to make a strong case for farmers here.