18 Mar 2013
FUTURE OF IRISH AGRICULTURE DEPENDS ON MINISTER COVENEY SECURING RIGHT OUTCOME TO CAP REFORMBrussels
Speaking from Brussels today (Mon), IFA President John Bryan said the future viability of tens of thousands of productive farm families and the delivery of growth plans in Food Harvest 2020 are totally dependent on the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney securing a deal that works for Ireland at critical CAP Reform discussions.
Reforms are very damaging for Irish agriculture, and Minister Coveney must reject the most negative aspects of Commissioner Ciolos proposals and secure a deal that works for active productive farmers in Ireland.
As the proposals stand, 80,000 farmers would lose over 250m from their Single Farm Payment. This will result in income losses of between 30% and 50% for tens of thousands of farm families totally undermining their viability. Farmers in every parish, and of every size and enterprise, will suffer significant losses.
John Bryan said IFA remains opposed to flattening and regionalisation or a mandatory minimum payment. Opposition to both proposals is building among farm organisations across Europe, as there is growing recognition that they will cause immense damage to production at farm level.
He reminded Minister Coveney of what he said in the Farmers Journal two weeks ago: I have not proposed a mandatory minimum payment within countries Mr Bryan said forcing a mandatory minimum payment on Ireland would completely negate the outcome suggested by the Minister under his approximation model, and any benefits that could accrue from a flexible greening option would be eroded.
The IFA President said a minimum payment would take money from productive farmers and redistribute it to inactive farmers who produce little.This is unfair and unacceptable. IFA is insisting that monies available for re-distribution are targeted at active farmers with low payments, using objective criteria such as stocking rates and the option of coupling.
Mr Bryan said the Minister must also commit 50:50 co-financing for the next Rural Development programme for the next seven years to support vulnerable regions and vulnerable sectors.The IFA President is leading a delegation which includes the Chairmen of the Livestock, Dairy, Rural Development, Sheep and Grain Committees.