Teagasc refuse to be drawn into coupling debate
ICSA claimed yesterday that Teagasc's analysis of the various CAP options reaffirmed their view that coupling of payments would not improve the viability of the suckler sector.
Teagasc's submission on CAP reform was outlined by the State body's economic unit FAPRI to the main farm organisations yesterday.
The FAPRI submission pointed out that the maximum fund available for coupling would be around €101m. This would be made up of €97m from Pillar I and a maximum of €4m from Pillar II.
Under the CAP package, just 15pc of Pillar II funds can be transferred into Pillar I. In Ireland's case this equates to €47m. However, just 8pc of this €47m, or €4m, can be used for coupling, FAPRI maintained.
This is at odds with the IFA plan for a €144m coupling fund, €36m of which would come from Pillar II.
The FAPRI submission accepted that introducing a coupled payment for the suckler sector would help maintain beef cow numbers but the benefits for overall beef production would be hard to quantify.
It looked at the possible impact of various scenarios in terms of the choices on CAP reform that are open to the Department Of Agriculture. However, Teagasc shied away from becoming involved in the increasingly heated debate on coupling.
In answer to the question of whether or not it made economic sense to introduce an 8pc coupled payment, Teagasc said it was not the role of the organisation to tell the Department what to do.