Common Sense Policies for Profitable Farming

  1. Every farmer should be entitled to have a farm plan drawn up free of charge. This would make farms more profitable and help farmers avail of all grants and subsidies necessary for improvement.
  2. A fund needs to be put in place where farmers can borrow money to pay their share of grant aided projects. Farmers depend on the grants and subsidies to repay these loans. If the grants or subsidies being paid to the farmer during the life of the loan are stopped or reduced, then the loan needs to be adjusted accordingly. This would mean farmers could not lose their property to the banks. It is the responsibility of the government to insure that grants and subsidies in place at the time the farmer receives the loan are in place for the life of the loan. This will make it possible for many more farmers to get involved in more schemes to improve their farm and farming practices. This in turn will increase jobs in the building and agricultural contracting sector and will also increase the potential earnings of the farmer, all of which creates more jobs and more revenue.
  3. If farmers had a VAT card, similar to what I have proposed for the Self Employed they would not need to pay VAT when purchasing farm equipment or supplies. It would also cut down on paper work and free up working capital.
  4. Family members should be allowed to build homes on their farms.
  5. My proposed Reform of the Seanad would also allow young farmers groups a representative in the Seanad.