Ahead of this year’s annual agricultural conference and Rally weekend, Macra na Feirme’s national president Sean Finan has called for a fully resourced Basic Payment National Reserve for 2017, for young farmers and new entrants to farming.
Mr Finan said it was imperative that the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine examined a reallocation of funding to ensure there was a National Reserve available up to 2020 as well as encouragement in the generational renewal in the CAP.
“I look forward to engaging with Minister for State, Andrew Doyle, at our annual conference this Saturday and highlighting to the Minster the importance of reopening the National Reserve,” added Mr Finan.
“Over the past year the lack of a reserve has made life extremely tough for young farmers and this is something that really needs to be examined further.”
The options available to fund the BPS National Reserve include Basic Payment entitlements unused over a two year timeframe and the claw back from sales of entitlements.
Currently there is a total of €24m available for the young farmer top up scheme and the Macra President said all the indications are that there will be unused funds again this year.
“Macra is calling for this redistributed money to be recouped to form a fund for the BPS National Reserve and for additional Basic Payment funds to be allocated, if necessary, to ensure the availability of a National Reserve till 2020,” he added.
“This start-stop approach to young farmer schemes is having a detrimental impact on young farmers.
“It is obvious from past experience that when schemes are suspended or closed they have a knock-on effect for future eligibility for these young farmers as is the case with a group of ‘old young’ farmers who missed out on past schemes.”