Agriculture: Farmers warn of 'double whammy' hit
MORE than €221m will be cut from agriculture spending in the next four years.
Farmers also warned they have been hit with a double whammy as a result of the doubling of the carbon tax.
The National Recovery Plan calls for cuts totalling €101m next year, mainly through reduced spending on the Rural Environment Protection Scheme, lower disease eradication, the ending of the Early Retirement Scheme and reduced intervention costs.
Another €120m will have to be saved in subsequent years to bring its total budget down from €1.35bn next year to €1.02bn by 2014.
This will include streamlining a range of programmes and prioritising support to active farmers.
But the plan did leave scope to significantly boost the amount of milk and seafood produced in Ireland.
The Irish Farmers' Association said the plan did acknowledge the role farming could play in economic recovery, with food exports set to increase by €750m this year.
But it warned that farmers must get the €120m owed to them under the Farm Waste Management Scheme.
The Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers' Association said that the doubling of carbon taxes at the behest of the Greens would undermine productive export-driven sectors like theirs, while cuts to farm schemes put them in "grave financial jeopardy".