IFA President John Bryan said that the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney must deliver 50:50 national co-financing to complement the EU Rural Development funding to ensure that the seven-year CAP Rural Development Plan has a meaningful impact for farming and rural Ireland.
IFA will hold a rally in the Mullingar Park Hotel on Tues, Nov 19th as part of its campaign.
John Bryan said farmers will not accept any dilution of national funding as schemes such as Disadvantaged Areas Scheme, agri-environment and farm investment are vital to ensure that agriculture continues to play a crucial role in our economy.
The IFA President said that the EU has allocated Ireland €313m of Pillar II Rural Development funding per annum over the next 7 years. IFA has already set out the targets for the Minister to draw down this funding with 50% national finance with national top-ups to give an annual allocation of €660m.
The IFA President said the Government has the opportunity in the Rural Development Plan to address the income concerns of many farmers who depend to the great extent on Pillar II, payments particularly in vulnerable sectors and regions. In relation to farmer investment, it is important that investment aid across all sectors is available to help the farmers meet Food Harvest 2020 targets, fulfil higher environment and welfare standards, and to improve on farm efficiency.
Concluding, John Bryan said the next couple of weeks are crucial for funding commitments as the RDP has to be lodged in Brussels by early 2014, with measures being implemented later in the year