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Irish workers return to the land in absence of jobs

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Irish people have begun to return to the land as the recession leads to greater unemployment and less job creation, according to a report by Bloomberg News.

Ireland’s agricultural sector was ignored during the boom years in favor of foreign conglomerates lured by lower corporate tax and the construction bubble.  

The article pointed out that more Irish people are seeking casual work on farms, having seen the construction boom draw people away from agricultural work and towards the more lucrative work available on building sites.

Moreover, land that had been priced out of farmers’ range by the construction boom is now dropping back to pre-bubble prices, too. According to the report, “developers pushed up prices to more than 58,400 euros ($81,140) a hectare in 2006, the highest in Europe, according to the National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis, citing data from property agents Savills Plc.”

The report also points out that Teagasc, the Irish agricultural and food development authority, saw a jump of nearly 50% in enrolment for course this year compared to 2007. Teagasc teaches a range of agricultural skills as well as skills such as growing organic food in Ireland.

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