Direct payments vital to farm incomes

Reacting to the CSO’s initial Agricultural Income estimates, IFA president John Bryan said the figures show the continuing positive growth of the primary agriculture sector.

Reacting to the CSO’s initial Agricultural Income estimates, IFA president John Bryan said the figures show the continuing positive growth of the primary agriculture sector.

John Bryan remarked, “The CSO’s provisional output and income estimates for agriculture in 2011 reflect the growth in value of the agriculture sector and its important contribution to the economic recovery, in particular its role in the rural economy. However, it must be remembered that Average Farm Incomes in 2011 will still be only around €23,000.

“Direct Payments represented over 70% of National Farm Income in 2011. This highlights the importance of retaining the Single Farm Payment and Rural Development programmes in the CAP post-2013 to underpin farm incomes, production and agri-food output. This will be the clear message for the EU Commissioner for Agriculture Dacian Ciolos, when he attends the IFA AGM in January.”

John Bryan noted that over €150m of the 2011 income figure comprised Direct Payments that were due in 2010, but were not paid until early 2011. The real increase in income at farm level in 2011 was therefore closer to 25%.