THE IRISH Farmers‘ Association is lobbying for tax concessions to encourage farmers to consolidate and expand their businesses.

In a budget submission handed to finance minister Brian Cowen this week (w/e Oct 22) IFA president John Dillon said: “The IFA is calling for government action to encourage farmers to achieve the scale they need to compete on world markets.

 “Almost 30% of Irish farms are in four or more parcels of land, while just 28% are in a single parcel.”

This degree of fragmentation increased farmers‘ costs, he added.

The IFA is demanding targeted re-investment relief from capital gains tax and an extension to stamp duty relief to help rectify the position.

It has also called for grant aid to be increased to 75% for environmental investments relating to the forthcoming nitrates action programme, and accelerated write-offs against income.