Focus on farming future

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Ulster Farmers’ Union president, Ian Marshall, says the annual President’s Area meetings, which begin in January, will focus on the future for agriculture after a difficult year for the entire industry in 2015.

The series of meetings begins in Fermanagh, at the Killyhevlin Hotel, on 11 January at 8pm.

Mr Marshall said that while there was widespread recognition of the importance of farming and food to the local economy, there was an urgent need to put ways to tackle price volatility at the top of the agenda.

He said the meetings will be an opportunity for the leadership team to highlight a number of initiatives.

“As well as focusing on the supply chain, profitability and market volatility, we also intend to take forward ideas to develop new markets, particularly outside the EU. We will look at alternative finance sources and the continuation of training and new capital investment,” said Mr Marshal.

He added that other priorities include plans along with the YFCU, to link farmers with limited succession opportunities to young people trying to get into the industry.