IFA President Eddie Downey said IFA has consistently made a strong case with Minister Coveney and the Department of Agriculture on behalf of the ‘old young farmers’ who were unfairly discriminated against in the CAP based on the fact that they were farming for more than five years.
Eddie Downey has welcomed the statement from Minister Coveney in the Dail that he intends to accommodate this group through the National Reserve after the priority categories of young farmers and new entrants.
Eddie Downey said IFA highlighted this problem throughout the CAP debate, including at the Farmers Journal CAP meetings last year, and most recently at a meeting on the National Reserve in early January, IFA made it clear to the Department that the ‘old young farmers’ must be accommodated.
Eddie Downey said IFA has also raised concerns with Minister Coveney about aspects of the National Reserve and some applicants renting land to apply to the reserve just to get entitlements without having a real long term commitment to farming. He said this was never the intention of the National Reserve and the Minister must ensure that the necessary instruments through the 50% clawback he has proposed are effective to prevent any abuse on entitlements allocated from the National Reserve.