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Commenting on today’s decision by EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan, as conveyed to the EU Council of Agriculture Ministers, to extend the duration of both APS and intervention past 30th September, IFA National Dairy Committee Chairman Sean O’Leary said this was helpful, but not sufficient.

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IFA Rural Development Chairman, Flor McCarthy has urged the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney to get an extension of the completion date for TAMS I investments, as many farmers are finding it difficult to finish their work by the end of August.

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Speaking at the lauch of Agri-Strategy 2025, IFA President Eddie Downey re-iterated that increasing farm family profitability has to be at the centre of the Strategy.

He said, “IFA will be monitoring the implementation of the actions around farm profitability very closely and insisting that all actions are implemented as soon as possible. Farm profitability is not just about improving efficiencies within the farm gate but also in returning a fair price and margin to farmers for their high quality output. Growth in the agri-food sector can only be achieved if there is a fair return for all stakeholders in the supply chain, especially primary producers. Meeting the ambitious target of €19bn in food exports by 2025 will depend on improved farm profitability. Without better farm incomes, farmers will not increase production to meet these targets”.

The IFA President said more support, particularly for vulnerable sectors such as beef and sheep, would have to be forthcoming. He said, “The delivery of full funding in this October’s budget for the farm schemes in the new Rural Development Programme must be a priority, while securing a strong budget for the CAP is a medium term focus”.

Eddie Downey said the new Agri-Strategy builds upon the focus of Food Harvest 2020 which had sustainable growth in food production at its core. Farmers will continue to play their part through participation in sustainability programmes and Irish food production operates to higher environmental and sustainability standards than other regions.

Mr Downey said farmers will engage fully with the new Agri-Strategy on the basis that the necessary actions are taken to deliver viable incomes.

Read IFA’s Submission to the Agri Strategy 2025

Reacting to the results confirming an isolated case of BSE, IFA President Eddie Downey said our export and home markets had responded to the news of this case in a calm and balanced manner, as he expected.

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IFA Livestock Chairman, Henry Burns has called on the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to immediately convene a meeting of the Beef Forum to access progress on implementation and to take stock of the recent developments in the beef sector.

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