IFA President Tim Cullinan said the 44% drop in farm incomes confirmed by Teagasc today was a huge concern particularly given the ongoing cost of living crisis.
“Farmers’ cost of living as well as their cost of doing business has increased, yet their incomes have fallen by 44%. Yesterday we saw that agricultural exports grew to €19bn. Yet the people providing the raw materials are receiving an average income of just over €25,000,” he said.
“If we don’t have farmers, we don’t have food. This should be a wake-up call for the Government, which keeps heaping extra regulation on farmers, which increases their costs and impacts hugely on farmer morale,” he said.
The outlook for 2024 is somewhat more positive, with a recovery in farm incomes projected. But even with this projected recovery, average incomes will remain substantially below levels achieved in 2022.
“The EU and the Government need a change direction and they need to start listening to farmers on the ground. We run a real risk of losing a whole generation,” he said.
Analysis by Teagasc also showed that emissions per hectare is projected to reduce across all enterprises in 2023.
“This shows that farmers are continuing to play their part in reducing overall emissions. However, farmers must have a sustainable income if we want to continue this trend. That has to be the focus of our Irish and EU regulators in the future,” Tim Cullinan concluded.