UK - After the Common Agricultural Policy budget discussions last week the Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) have voiced concern about the effects of reduced CAP payments and has urged Prime Minister Enda Kenny to stay committed to securing a full CAP budget from 2014-2020.
John Bryan highlights small, family farms as the most likely to be damaged by the potential 22 per cent reduction in farm income forecasted for the end of the year.
“The farm schemes are a vital part of farm income and disproportionate cutbacks in recent years have had a serious impact on farm households. Farmers facing into a very costly and difficult winter cannot be hit on the double with further hits to farm schemes, on top of finding additional resources to meet increased taxes, property charges etc.”
In relation to the farm schemes, Mr Bryan said, “it is critical that funding is maintained for Disadvantaged Areas, the Suckler Cow Scheme, REPS, AEOS, forestry and the TAMS programme for on-farm investment in 2013”.
Despite acknowledging new proposals made last week that would see smaller funding cuts to agriculture Mr Bryan remains cautious of the extent of the budget reduction.
“Some progress was made during last week’s discussions to resist the threat to CAP funding, following fresh proposals from President van Rompuy. However, Ireland would still face massive cuts that would have a very negative impact on the agriculture sector."
Hoping for unity through the EU Mr Bryan eluded to bonds made with another agrarian nation: "The Taoiseach must build on the alliance with the French President Francois Hollande and others, and insist on a fully-funded CAP from 2014 to 2020”.
“The reality is that Direct Payments from Europe will account for more than 90 per cent of farm incomes this year. In order to preserve the family farm model, it is essential that our Single Farm Payment and Rural Development are maintained,” concluded Mr Bryan
TheCattleSite News Desk