ICSA president Dermot Kelleher has told Minister McConalogue that the CAP Strategic Plan proposals are not doing enough for the suckler, beef, and sheep sectors at today’s CAP discussions at Backweston. “It is patently obvious that the Department of Agriculture’s CAP Strategic Plan is flawed; it is totally imbalanced, and it simply delivers nothing meaningful for active cattle and sheep farmers,” he said.
Minister McConalogue, together with senior Department of Agriculture officials, met with ICSA and other farm representatives at the Backweston Campus in Kildare today to discuss CAP and the recent carbon budget announcements.
Mr Kelleher said ICSA has been arguing for greater CAP payments for those sectors most reliant on CAP supports, and those achieving the most on climate action. “There are over 100,000 low-income farmers in this country, and they need to be supported with a fairer CAP plan. The ICSA has proposed a €300/suckler cow payment; a €35/ewe payment; a €100/head beef finisher payment, and a worthwhile agri-environment scheme.”
On the agri-environment scheme Mr Kelleher said, “ICSA argued very strongly today for a higher maximum payment. Payments have been whittled away from REPS through to GLAS and this trend must stop. ICSA pointed out today that there is a very real risk that the current DAFM proposals run the risk of considerable underspend in the rural development programme for the first two years. Given all that is being asked of farmers on climate and biodiversity, this is very wrong. Farmers must be paid more for the climate action measures they undertake, not less,” he said.
“ICSA’s CAP proposals provide the best framework upon which to build the next CAP for Irish farming families. Crucially, unlike the Department’s current proposals, it benefits all sectors. The Minister must now explain how he proposes to move forward and demonstrate that he is listening to the majority of farmers in Ireland who want better supports for the low-income cattle and sheep sectors.”