Farrelly calls for 'united front' in CAP fund debate
Published 23/02/2010 | 05:00
Irish farmers risk losing vital CAP funding if the national debate on proposed changes to the Single Farm Payment (SFP) descends into mere point scoring.
Farm organisations, Teagasc and the Department of Agriculture needed to present a united front, insisted Philip Farrelly, one of the country's leading agricultural consultants.
"This issue is too important to have the Department, IFA, ICMSA; everyone singing a different tune. CAP funding requires detailed analysis now and a united front at a high level," he said.
"There is no coherent national policy and, if the policy is left to the last minute, the situation for Irish farmers will only get worse," Mr Farrelly added.
The Dublin-based consultant was highly critical of the recent controversy between IFA president John Bryan and Teagasc economists.
Mr Bryan described Teagasc research on the effect of a move to flat rate payments as ill-timed, divisive and misleading.
"That's not the way to hold the debate, it shouldn't be about scoring points, it should be about getting all the brains together," insisted Mr Farrelly. "If we don't, the country may be a huge loser and production may be a huge loser."