'Hobby farmers' face criticism from IFA
Published 10/03/2013 | 05:00
Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney was warned yesterday that he is "in danger of delivering a fatal blow to the future of Irish agriculture" by IFA president John Bryan, as farmers picketed his office in Carrigaline, Co Cork.
Mr Bryan also said money should go to "active farmers", not what he described as "hobby farmers".
Farmers were "very angry" with the Minister's approach, which "will damage the sector because of the income losses it would impose on our most productive farmers", he said.
"Minister Coveney is not being straight with farmers and is downplaying the full impact of the CAP Reform," he said. "What farmers want to see is a tougher approach with the commission that will deliver a deal for Irish farming that keeps our active farmers in business."
Mr Bryan said the debate on reform must be about the viability of active farmers and support for primary production, "the bedrock of our largest indigenous industry, maintaining 300,000 jobs and exports of €9bn".
"The minister has to reject a minimum payment," he said. "He has to push for objective criteria such as stocking rates and labour units as the basis of minimising losses.
"He is being rolled over and is conceding way too much in a bid to secure an EU deal in these negotiations. Irish farmers expect him to toughen his stance and defend their interests now."