Farm Ireland

Saturday 24 March 2018

Farmers call for state's help in meeting targets

Aideen Sheehan

Aideen Sheehan

THE Irish Farmers' Association has called for the restoration of vital farm payments needed to meet government targets on the expansion of the food industry.

IFA president John Bryan said the farming community was ready and willing to meet growth targets, but all the key farm schemes would have to be fully funded.

In particular they called for the Suckler Cow payment to be restored to €80 per animal after being slashed to half that last year, and for a properly funded environmental scheme to be made available to the 25,000 farmers leaving the Rural Environment Protection Scheme over coming months.

"There is no doubt that the recovery in agriculture needs to be supported by the government and that means safeguarding farm schemes and investing to improve our competitiveness and productive capacity," he said.

Also speaking at the Ploughing Championships, Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny said that their agriculture spokesman Andrew Doyle would be producing the party's policy document on agriculture in near future.

"One really big issue we have to be concerned about nationally is the reform of the CAP," he said.

"The reform of the Common Agricultural Policy will be the big issue for agriculture over the next five years.

"Obviously Ireland needs to have a very strong national consensus on that," he said.

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Mr Kenny said he had been in touch with Fine Gael's political allies in Europe on what was needed.

The Department of Agriculture confirmed yesterday that EU Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos, who will lead the CAP reform process, will visit Ireland next week to take soundings from Irish farming interests, and answer questions about the reform process.

Irish Independent