Reacting to the comments made by the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney at today’s Oireachtas Committee discussion on the Budget, IFA President John Bryan said the Minister must stand up for agriculture at the Cabinet table and ensure that farm schemes, including Disadvantaged Areas, agri-environment schemes and the Sheep Grassland Scheme, are fully protected in Budget 2014.
John Bryan said the Minister must deliver a substantial suckler cow payment in the Budget as a demonstration of the Government’s commitment to the drystock sector.
The IFA President said the Minister must also ensure that agri-environment payments for farmers whose contracts finish at the end of the year are allowed a roll-over in 2014. It is unacceptable that farmers who have environmental designations and restrictions imposed on them would not have a scheme to compensate them for their losses next year.
On TAMS, there is a significant underspend and the Minister has to introduce greater flexibility for applicants.
John Bryan said, “IFA analysis shows that farm schemes have taken the brunt of the Minister’s cuts in recent years. It is time for new investment in primary production, which underpins the jobs and exports in the sector”.