Macra president Elaine Houlihan has gave a cautious welcome to Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue’s announcement that a scheme for the ‘Forgotten Farmers’ will be brought forward in the next budget.

Minister McConalogue told the Dáil on Thursday that he intends on providing a scheme for these farmers under Budget 2025.

Macra’s position is that every ‘Forgotten Farmer’ should receive funding equal to all supports they have missed out on since 2008.

“This is welcome news however, we have been here before; these forgotten farmers need a concrete guarantee of delivery from the minister,” Houlihan said.

“At our Macra annual conference a year and a half ago, the minister told members in attendance that the Department of Agriculture would shortly announce a scheme that will support farmers who are commonly referred to as the ‘Forgotten Farmers’.”

Pre-budget submission

The Macra president said that the issue must be successfully concluded by the end of 2024 and a proposal on supports for ‘Forgotten Farmers’ will be included in the young farmers’ group pre-budget submission this year.

“It is something that has been on our agenda as these once young farmers were neglected at the time,” Houlihan said.