IFA South Leinster Regional Chair Francie Gorman said the decision by the Department of Agriculture to have only one CAP information evening in South Leinster, out of 11 in total, shows the Department is afraid to face the farmers in the region.
“Farmers in South Leinster are amongst the worst hit in Ireland due to cuts in the Basic Payment to fund Eco Schemes, convergence and front loading. The Minister has turned his back on these farmers,” he said.
“For a lot of farmers going to these ‘information meetings’, it will merely reveal the depressing reality of the cuts they are facing,” he said.
“The meetings are also at a bad time of year. We often here from politicians that their focus is on the farmer who ‘calves the cow’ or ‘lambs the ewe’. Well, that’s where most livestock and sheep farmers will be on March 28th: in the calving shed or the lambing pen,” he said.
“While the Minister has been talking about ‘millions and billions’ for farmers under the CAP, the reality is that this Government is doing everything they can to reduce production,” he said.
“At a time when farmers are facing soaring inputs costs, reduced supports and with some facing BEAM repayments, the Minister needs to look at more ways of supporting farmers,” he said.