Strong Agri-food Exports Key to 2011 Growth – IFA

IFA President John Bryan has stated that strong growth in agri-food exports will be critical to the achievement of the Government’s overall growth targets for 2011.

Mr Bryan said, “Government has projected an increase of 5% in exports in 2011. In 2010, agri-food exports have already grown by more than 10%, and can contribute to further export growth next year. However, it is vital that funding for farm schemes, including REPS, AEOS, Disadvantaged Areas, Suckler Cow and other investment schemes is maintained. This funding acts as a stimulus for farm production and expenditure by farmers in the rural economyon locally provided inputs, labour, goods and services.”

He said, “Like everybody else, farm families will be affected by general changes to the taxation system and cuts in services. However, farm incomes and viability cannot be impacted on the double through reductions in funding for vital farm schemes or through the reduction of key farm taxation reliefs.”

Mr Bryan said, “Farm taxation reliefs were put in place to encourage restructuring, land mobility and an increase in scale and capital. A reduction in schemes such as Retirement, Agricultural and Stock relief or Capital Allowances would have a disastrous effect by discouraging family farm transfers, reduce the numbers of new entrants and put farmers off from investing in their businesses, undermining the growth targets for agriculture set out in the Food Harvest 2020.”

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