Subsidy Reform Of 'Huge Concern' Says Farmers

The president of Irish farmers' largest union has said the reform of subsidy payments being discussed in the European Parliament is of "huge concern".

Speaking at a conference on Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform in the European Parliament with Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos, IFA President John Bryan said Irish farmers are concerned the Commission proposals would undermine producers, interfere with farmer’s normal business decisions and reduce the capacity of Irish agriculture.

John Bryan said: “The proposal to move to a uniform per-hectare payment by 2019 is of huge concern for Irish farmers. At farm level, the changes in payment levels will cause huge disruption, in a very short time period, undermining viable businesses.

'It is too simplistic a proposal, as it takes no account of the major differences in productive capacity of land across Ireland and is not supportive of the active farmer. Overall, it will reduce the growth potential of Irish agriculture.”

Mr Byran said that member states must be given the flexibility to implement a payment system that supports production, ensures viable farm businesses, and reflects existing production patterns.

The IFA delegation also met Irish MEPs Liam Aylward and Pat the Cope Gallagher to brief them on the views of Irish farmers.

The IFA President added: “On a related note, the uncertainty created by the 2019 flat-rate proposal combined with a future reference date of 2014 for the new payment system is causing disruption in the land market and is affecting farmer’s business decisions. This issue must be addressed immediately.

“The Commission’s proposals on Greening willimpose additional costs on the farmer and interfere with production decisions and it is unclear what environmental benefits they will deliver.The greening measures must be revised so that they are voluntary, can be incorporated into farmer’s normal practices, and provide options that take account of the differing environmental conditions across the Member States.”


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