06 Mar 2011
PROGRAMME FOR GOVERNMENT MUST DELIVER GROWTH IN AGRICULTUREOireachtas
IFA President John Bryan has stated that the Programme for Government must deliver on the strong growth potential in agriculture and the agri-food sector.
John Bryan welcomed the commitments to commercial farming and to defending the CAP payments. He said, “the commitment to promoting greater land mobility and involvement of young farmers can best be done by retaining existing land transfer incentives and encouraging farm consolidation and restructuring through Stamp Duty and CGT relief.”
He said, “The programme for Government also recognises the importance of farm schemes to farm incomes and in particular the value of agri-environment schemes. As part of the new Government’s ‘Jobs Budget’ to be announced within the first hundred days, it is vital that the AEOS scheme is made available to all farmers leaving REPS. Funding for AEOS both underpins production and supports jobs through expenditure by farmers in the economy on local inputs and services.”
The IFA President acknowledged the new Government’s commitment to exempt Farm Diesel from any further increases in the Carbon Tax, saying, “this is an important step to maintain our competitiveness”. He added that the new Government’s support for the <i>Food Harvest 2020</i> recommendations is an important recognition of the role of the agri-food sector in our economic recovery.
Mr Bryan said farmers were very concerned at the proposal to move responsibility for specialist agri-payments from the Department of Agriculture to a new broad-ranging Payments and Entitlements Service. He said, “The existing service is efficient and compares favourably with systems in other EU countries.”
In welcoming the commitment for Fair Trade legislation for the retail sector, Mr Bryan said that farmers will be looking to the new Government to introduce this legislation quickly, to restore balance in the food supply chain and ensure a fair price for producers.
On climate change, Mr Bryan said, “any new legislation must provide for growth in farm output, based on Ireland’s low-carbon model of food production.”
Mr Bryan concluded by welcoming the commitments to a 14,700 ha annual planting target for forestry and the introduction of increased Refit Tariffs for on-farm micro-energy generation