Farmers encouraged to share views on NI let land system

Landowners who let land, farmers who rent land and farmers who are interested in renting land have been asked to share their views on Northern Ireland’s letting system.

The economics team at the Agri-food & Biosciences Institute (AFBI), which delivers research and development for the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (Daera), has released a survey about leasing land and ways to encourage longer-term agreements.

Several initiatives are ongoing in Northern Ireland aimed at encouraging land rental agreements over longer periods of time – such as through the local Land Mobility Scheme – but there is increasing interest in exploring other options and opportunities to improve.

See also: What the UK let sector can learn from Ireland tax reform

Dr Adewale Adenuga, a lead researcher in the study, said: “To make the Northern Ireland land rental system fit for purpose in the 21st century, there needs to be a better understanding of landowner and farmer requirements and how the commonly used conacre system [seasonal agreements] can be complemented with alternative options to meet modern needs.” 

The team has urged as many landowners and farmers as possible to assist with the research by completing the survey, and said it would provide important evidence for the development of future policy in this key area.

Hard copy versions of the questionnaire have already been sent to a sample of more than 4,000 farms across Northern Ireland.

The questionnaire can also be completed on the AFBI website. It will take about 20 minutes to complete.

All completed and submitted surveys will be eligible for a prize draw for one of 10 £100 vouchers.

For more information, email the research team at longtermlandleasing@afbini.gov.uk.    

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