Farm Ireland

Monday 10 December 2018

Young farmers and environment the key focus of future CAP - Hogan

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Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

Young farmers and the environment are the two key focus areas of new proposals for the Common Agricultural Policy, the EU Commissioner Phil Hogan announced today.

In his proposals today, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development said that young farmers will benefit from additional measures, including a requirement for Member States to reserve at least 2pc of national allocation to support young farmers setting up.

It is also proposed that under new Member State strategic plans to achieve nine EU level specific environmental, economic and social objectives Member States will have to outline how they plan in the national strategy for how Member States will attract and support younger farmers into the business.

Young farmers will also be helped, he said by an increase in installation aid to €100,000 from the current €75,000, while Member States will also be allowed to establish financial instruments to support young farmers.

CAP and the Environment

A higher level of environmental and climate ambition is needed, he said, in line with the expectation of our people and international agreements.

Mandatory nutrient management plans at farm level will be required in the future, he proposed, while 30pc of rural development funding will be dedicated to environment, climate and biodiversity measures - excluding payments to areas of natural constraint.

Member States can move 15pc more from pillar one to two to spend on climate and environment without the need for co-financing.

Financial Instruments

It will be mandatory for Member States to have financial instruments to help farmers overcome problems - the first time such platforms, including insurance policies, will be a mandatory requirement to deal with price volatility.

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Hogan said the proposals would produce a "balanced and realistic" CAP that delivers on commitments set out last year.

The CAP, he said, will remain a central income support for farmers to provide a safe supply of food, but instead of rules and compliance the focus will shift to performance and results.

The draft legislation sets out 9 EU level specific environmental, economic and social objectives

The previous one size fits all approach will be replace by greater flexibility for Member States to decide how best to implement the common EU wide objectives, he said.

"Each Member State will design its own roadmap detailing how it will achieve the EU 9 objectives and the plan will require EU Commission approval and there will be annual performance reports."

He also said that each Member State will define how it classifies a small farmer who can, if the Member State chooses, a lump sum rather than an annual payment. It will be simplier than filing annual claims, he said.

The amounts freed up through the €60,000-100,000 ceiling will be redistributed through the Member States through an obligatory scheme to ensure that a higher amount of monies go to small and medium sized farmers, who are the heart of the EU farm model.

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