IFA President John Bryan said that the Government must deliver a strong and robust Rural Development Programme (RDP), within the next seven years.
“Recent cutbacks had a severe impact on farmers and the rural economy, and the ball is now firmly in the hands of the Minister for Agriculture, food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD,” he added. “As part of IFA’s intensive campaign, farmers have a clear message for TDs and senators, that co-financing must be at a rate of 50:50, with national top-ups. This is vital to ensure that RDP schemes support the rural economy and jobs, while at the same time support farm income, where output is limited by the quality of the land and where farmers can provide environmental public goods”.
The IFA President also said that Ireland had secured annual EU funding of €313m to give an EU budget of €2.2bn. “The Government must at least match this funding, as it is clear that the spin-off to the rural economy is very significant given that practically all of the funding is spent in the local economy,” he added.