IFA President John Bryan said the fallout from anything less than a full Budget for the Single Farm Payment and Rural Development measures Commissioner Ciolos in the CAP 2013 reform is frightening and will damage irreparably Ireland’s €24bn agri-food sector.
Speaking before the IFA’s Day of Action in Dublin, Mr Bryan pointed out that a flat-rate system would decimate the incomes of tens of thousands of average-sized, productive farmers. He gave an example of a suckler to beef farmer, with 24 suckler cows, on 77 acres, who would lose €6,500 in his Single Farm Payment, cutting his income by up to 40%. “With this level of payment loss, this farmer, and thousands like him, will be forced to pull back production and have their viability threatened.”
The IFA President said, “Commissioner Ciolos knows well that his proposals for flat-rate payments and regionalisation will not work in Ireland, and are very damaging for our farmers and Irish agriculture. His proposals are regressive and are a direct attack on our most productive farmers”
Calling on all farmers to support the Day of Action on Tuesday, October 9th in Dublin, the IFA President said there was a very positive response from farmers at the IFA stand at the Ploughing last week to the call for action. In addition, John Bryan said there has been strong support from the wider agri industry, which recognises the importance of retaining the CAP Budget and the Single Farm Payment.
He noted farm incomes have been seriously eroded in 2012 by the dreadful weather conditions, soaring input costs and falling prices in some commodities.
“Farmers recognise that the next few months are critical in terms of decisions on the EU CAP Budget for the next seven years, and the protection of farm schemes in Budget 2013.”
“The CAP Budget is under threat and the Commission’s proposals on the Single Farm Payment will undermine agricultural production in Ireland. IFA’s Day of Action on Tuesday, October 9th is about securing CAP funding, protecting the Single Farm Payment, farm incomes and viability for the next seven years,” he added.
Mr Bryan stressed the importance for Ireland of retaining the full CAP Budget, including €1.25b for the Single Farm Payment and €350m for Rural Development measures. The IFA President called on the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, and Irish MEPs to redouble their efforts to secure the CAP budget for Ireland and a payment system that supports active farmers and underpins agricultural production and growth.