New beef breeding scheme is 'unworkable' claim farmers
Pressure grows for suspension of €52m Beef Data Genomics Programme
DEMANDS for a revamped Beef Data Genomics Programme (BDGP) are growing following a well-attended meeting of concerned farmers over the weekend.
The €52m BDGP initiative, which was only launched in the last fortnight, has generated a storm of criticism from suckler farmers who claim that the requirement to stay in the scheme for a minimum of six years and use of four- or five-star rated bulls are unworkable.
At least 200 farmers attended an IFA meeting in Carrick-on-Shannon on Friday night to voice their frustrations with the scheme's rules.
Fianna Fáil's Marc McSharry told the meeting that his party was calling for an immediate suspension of the May 29 deadline to allow a full review and consultation with "real" suckler farmers
"I'm sure the scheme works in the offices of the ICBF, the Department [of Agriculture] or the EU Commission, but it is impossible in terms of practical application. It is unworkable, discriminatory and will lead to more of a maternal than terminal herd, which could well lead to poorer quality beef," he claimed.
Galway TD Éamon Ó Cuiv described the scheme as the "most bureaucratic and unworkable ever announced by the Department of Agriculture".
He claimed that farmers would be short-changed by Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney's promises of Pillar Two payments if the scheme was not radically revised.
"If the minister does not change the scheme there will be a very low take up. We now have a mishmash of schemes which have high compliance costs and are full of red tape," he said.