Major reforms to the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) could see small farmers across the county “lose out the most”.
That is the message from Longford’s IFA Executive chief, Andrew McHugh who branded the latest developments as “the best of a bad lot”. “The most productive farmers will lose the most under this new deal,” he added. “All the protests by IFA in relation to CAP were about ensuring that exactly what has happened, did not happen. Hopefully now, we will be able to find light at the end of the tunnel.” Under the new deal, direct payments will be allocated “per farmer” and a new Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) will ensue. There will also be payment allocations for those involved in ‘Greening’. “At this stage, there are options that Ireland can choose from - so whether that is suckler, sheep etc, we do not know,” Mr McHugh continued. “It is all to do with the intensity of production, so its the suckler man with a number of cows on a small area of land that will be the hardest hit. It was the best [deal] of a bad lot, but now we must choose.”