Ireland must seek a special deal on Rural Development Funding

IFA President John Bryan has said that the Taoiseach Enda Kenny must seek a special deal on Rural Development for Ireland as part of the CAP deal in the forthcoming EU Multiannual Financial Framework Talks.

IFA President John Bryan has said that the Taoiseach Enda Kenny must seek a special deal on Rural Development for Ireland as part of the CAP deal in the forthcoming EU Multiannual Financial Framework Talks.

Mr Bryan said that at the December MFF talks a number of countries have made a special case for a set allocation of Rural Development funds as the formula being used in their individual allocation would have left those countries short. These countries include among others Austria, Italy and Finland who now have gotten specific allocation.

The IFA President said the objective of the Taoiseach must be to ensure that Ireland secures an annual Rural Development allocation of €350m to give a total allocation over the 7 year period of €2.45bn.  This should be matched 50% by the National Exchequer with top-ups to ensure a meaningful Rural Development Plan in the period 2014-2020.

Mr Bryan said that the Government in agreeing the Rural Development Budget must recognise that this is a 7 year multiannual programme where allocations are made for vital schemes such as Disadvantaged Areas, Agri-Environment & Farm Investment Schemes.

Commenting on IFA’s RDP submission, Rural Development Chairman Flor McCarthy said the next programme must be strongly focused on agricultural development and farm schemes that underpin agricultural production.

The Rural Development Chairman said a meaningful agri-environment scheme and Disadvantaged Area payments must be a priority as farmers need continued support to maintain income and output and to help the wider rural economy. IFA has pointed out in this submission to Government that schemes which have been suspended for some time should be reintroduced such as the Young Farmer Installation Aid and the Farm Improvement Scheme.

Concluding John Bryan said that the Government must take account of the huge transfer of funding to Ireland through the CAP. The combination of Pillar 1, Single Farm Payment and Pillar 2 Rural Development funding is worth €1.6bn annually to the economy. For a national contribution of a further €350m this is a very significant injection of funding to the rural economy which will have significant economic spin-off.