‘New government must maintain payments; increase flexibility’
The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has stated that any increase in farm payments that are currently below the national average must come from an increase in the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) budget.
The organisation also called for greater flexibility for tillage farmers in schemes like TAMS (Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Schemes) and GLAS (Green Low-Carbon Agri-Environmental Scheme).
The IFA’s grain chairperson, Mark Browne, commented that “the next government has to fight for an increased CAP budget to take account of inflation and to compensate farmers for any additional requirements placed on them as a result of this CAP reform”.
All payments to farmers must be maintained at their current levels. Any increase for farmers below the national average must be funded through an increase in the CAP budget.
Continuing, he said there has to be greater flexibility in farm schemes such as TAMS and GLAS to allow grain farmers to invest in their farms.
“We also need to see a greater emphasis on the production and use of native grains in our food, feed and beverage sectors,” Browne stated.
He also added that when it comes to plant protection “Irish and European growers need a level playing field so they are not competing with imports that don’t meet EU standards”.
The IFA’s horticulture chairperson Paul Brophy also said that the next government has to provide €10 million in annual funding for the development of the horticulture sector.
Brophy also called for an extension of employment permits to cater for the demand in the sector. He noted that 500 permits are needed for 2020.