IFA President Eddie Downey has urged the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, to make a strong case to the EU Commission for a 100% payout of the Single Farm Payment in mid-October due to the income crisis in the livestock and tillage sectors. Eddie Downey said that IFA will be raising this issue directly with EU Commissioner Dacian Ciolas next week when he attends the emergency COPA meeting in Brussels to deal with the pressure on commodity prices in the wake of the Russian trade ban.
The IFA President is reminding the Minister that in a similar crisis situation in 2009, a full Single Farm Payment of €1.2bn was paid out in mid-October. He said a full payment in October would help ease the income situation on beef and tillage farms and the impact of Russian trade sanctions.
Eddie Downey said that the Minister must also press for an early EU decision on Ireland’s Rural Development Programme so that vital schemes such as GLAS and TAMs can be opened later this year with payments being made next year. He emphasised that the upcoming October Budget is a real test of this Government’s commitment to address the income situation as direct payments are vital to sustain farm family incomes.
Eddie Downey said that IFA has got assurances that Areas of National Constraint Payments (formerly Disadvantaged Areas) will commence to 95,000 farmers on the week beginning the 22nd of September next.