One local area representative in Longford believes that the Agriculture Mininster “delivered” a strong CAP deal for Irish farmers.
Ballinalee’s Cllr Micheal Carrigy, said, “this is a strong deal for Irish farmers and, crucially, it is a much better package of measures than the proposals originally put forward by the European Commission”.
He went on to say that a fairer distribution system had been agreed and the new deal would see €12b in EU support for Irish agriculture over the next seven years. “It is particularly significant that this deal was reached just before Ireland handed over the EU Presidency at the end of this month,” he added. “There was a lot of concern amongst farmers about the Commission’s proposal for a flat rate payments system, but Member States can opt for the partial convergence model, recommended by Ireland combined with a 60% minimum payment, which represents a very good outcome for Irish farmers. The package is particularly positive for young farmers, as it includes a mandatory 25% top-up payment for farmers under 40. This will act as a significant incentive for young men and women considering entering the farming sector, and it should help to inject some additional youth into Irish agriculture.”
He then added, “Positive progress has also been made on the greening of CAP. From now on 30% of the Single Farm Payment (SFP) will be linked to greening measures. This approach was proposed by Ireland, and will also minimise the impact on direct payments. The lifting of sugar quotas from 2017 is also something that should be warmly welcomed from Ireland’s point of view, particularly in relation to the efforts to bring the sugar industry back to Ireland.”