Following an online meeting on CAP reform last night, IFA President Tim Cullinan said that Minister Charlie McConalogue must immediately outline details of his proposed Eco-schemes for Irish farmers.
“The introduction of Eco-schemes is a fundamental change to how CAP Pillar I funds are distributed and could see up to 30% of a cut in every farmer’s Basic Payments. Yet there is no detail on these so-called ‘schemes’ and farmers are getting increasingly frustrated,” he said.
The President was speaking after the first IFA CAP online regional meeting in Munster last night, in which 250 farmers participated.
“Next week is a crucial week in the CAP talks, with trilogues and a Council of Agriculture Ministers meeting in Brussels. There will be pressure on to decide the Eco-scheme percentage, yet farmers have no idea how they will work. We are being asked to buy a pig in a poke. A key objective of IFA is to minimise the impact these so-called schemes will have on farm payments,” he said.
“Farmers are completely in the dark as to what the Minister is going to ask of them in order to qualify to get their own money back and what rates of payment will apply. Other countries such as Germany, France, Sweden and Romania have set out their plans, but there is radio silence on the issue here,” he said.
“Before the Minister heads off to Brussels for negotiations next week, he has to let farmers know what is going to be asked of them in the next CAP,” he said.
The IFA CAP regional meetings continue tonight in South Leinster; tomorrow night (Thurs) in Connacht and they conclude on Mon next in Ulster/North Leinster.