Following last week’s EU Budget decision in Brussels, IFA President John Bryan said the Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney and the Government must secure a strong CAP deal in June, to underpin support for farm incomes and direct payments.
He said, “The pressure is now on Minister Coveney to deliver a deal on direct payments that addresses critical issues on flattening and greening, and protects active productive farmers for the next seven years, as well as a strong Rural Development Programme.”
On Rural Development, the IFA President said it was now up to the Government to provide the necessary national funding to put in place a meaningful seven-year Programme to support vital farm schemes such as Disadvantaged Areas, agri-environment and farm investment. He said this must involve additional national top-up funding over and above the co-financing rates to ensure an effective programme which will support farm incomes in disadvantaged areas.
John Bryan said farmers are disappointed that the funding allocation agreed as part of the EU Budget represents a reduction for both the Single Farm Payment and the Rural Development Programme.
He said, “The focus for the Government and the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney in the CAP Reform negotiations must now be to resolve the difficulties for Irish farmers with the greening and internal convergence proposals.”
John Bryan said, “The current Commission proposals on convergence of the Single Farm Payment are totally unacceptable to Irish farmers. Minister Coveney must secure the flexibilities necessary for Ireland to protect and support active productive farmers before any deal is finalised.”