CAP focus on 'greening' is met with cool reaction
The proposal that 30pc of core CAP funding should be directed to environmental measures or 'greening' and suggestions of a weakening of market management measures have provoked concern among farmer bodies.
The changes were included in the EU budget proposals for the period 2014 to 2020, which were announced last Wednesday in Brussels.
While there was widespread relief that the CAP budget was held at 2013 levels for the period -- €371.7bn, which equates to an annual spend of €53bn for the seven years -- but reservations have been expressed regarding the greening stipulation.Details of how this environmental target might be met have still not emerged, but industry representatives have warned that it could have serious implications for commercial operators, particularly in the tillage sector.
Commenting on the 'greening' proposal, ICSA president Gabriel Gilmartin said it demonstrated the increasing environmental focus of CAP.
However, he insisted that Irish farmers could cope with any such measures if enforced in a reasonable manner.
"I believe that the grassland farming practised in Ireland, along with rotational tillage, is fully compliant with these objectives and the critical thing will be to ensure that the greening concept does not become overly bureaucratic," Mr Gilmartin claimed.
The dilution of funding, such as intervention and aid to private storage and its replacement with an annual fund of €500m for market crises and unforeseen problems, has been described by ICMSA general secretary Ciaran Dolan as "worrying".
He pointed out that market control mechanisms were increasingly important given the greater volatility in world market prices.