IFA National Sheep Committee Chairman James Murphy said the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney must roll over the €10 per ewe Sheep Grassland payment for 2013. He said this payment is vital for the sheep sector and should be linked in to the options available on coupled payments in the CAP negotiations going forward.
James Murphy said the Sheep Grassland payment is financed from unused CAP funds, which were specifically designated to the sheep sector following the Health Check Reform in 2009.
James Murphy also called for Discussion Group funding for the sheep sector saying that it was unfair that sheep were excluded from this funding last year. Meanwhile, at a meeting this week, the Department of Agriculture has confirmed to IFA that the 2012 Sheep Grassland payment will be paid out from mid-December.
James Murphy said this is vital for cash flow at this time, in what has been a very difficult high cost year for sheep farmers.