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Ireland’s agriculture is characterised by an ageing farmer population and small average farm sizes. Past policy schemes developed to address these issues have been targeted at accelerating succession and retirement processes in agriculture. Their success however was limited. The process of succession, inheritance and retirement is complex and the decision-making of farm families in these situations is influenced by many factors. In order to develop more successful policies to encourage the early transfer of land and to increase farm sizes a better understanding of these factors is necessary. The paper addresses this question by employing a Neural Network Analysis with data collected through a survey of Irish farmers’ perception on succession and land mobility measures in 2012. The analysis shows that while many farmers in general are in favour of various land mobility measures, they would not consider taking advantage of any of them, which in part could be explained by a large number of farmers being unwilling to totally retire from farming.


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