Unworkable cuts to CAP Budget must be stopped, says ICSA boss

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Edmond Phelan

ICSA president Edmond Phelan

ICSA president, Edmond Phelan, has said it is very disappointing that the latest proposals from the EU Commission on the next CAP budget still represent a big drop on the previous CAP period.

Commenting on recent announcement's Mr Phelan said: “(This is all) the more frustrating given that it comes hot on the heels of the launch of the EU’s Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies which will place significant additional demands on farmers.

“It is incredulous that this should be followed by the news that no additional funding is to be provided for this, and that farmers will actually have to rely on less,” pointed out the farm leader.

“The reality is the Commission’s proposal for the CAP 2020-2027 budget, coupled with what is referred to as an economic recovery allocation, amounts to €352.145 billion which is a drop of €31 billion from the 2014-2020 period, when the budget stood at €383.6 billion. This equates to an overall budget reduction of 8%.”

“This proposed budget offers no real prospects for a sector that has been rocked by the crisis brought about by Covid-19. It does not ensure farming families will continue to have the ability to produce high quality food at a reasonable price.

“It makes no allowances for the extra burden of the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies. Nor does offer any capacity for crucial investment in techniques and routes that can deliver dual economic and environmental performance.”

“As these proposals have yet to be set in stone, we need to see a determined effort on the part of government to fight for a CAP budget that can sustain the ever-increasing ambition of the programme,” he added in conclusion.