Basic payments should not fund farming organisations – INHFA

The Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) has rejected any proposal that could see farmer’s Basic Payments targeted in the form of a compulsory levy to fund the running costs of farm organisations.

The group representing farmers on hill, designated and environmentally valuable land has described the proposals as unacceptable and arrogant.

INHFA National Chair, Vincent Roddy, said the organisation would be embarrassed to take money from farmers that it does not represent.

During the CAP reform debate, he said that senior farming organisations at the time failed to represent the majority of farmers.

The interests of over 80% of farmers were ignored in order to ensure the payments of a small few were protected.

The INHFA Chair said that the present proposal would involve farming organisations taking money from the Basic Payments of farmers whose interests they tried to undermine.

Roddy added that the proposal has already seen a negative response from many farmer’s especially young farmers starting in 2016 and the forgotten farmers group.

Any cut to farmers Basis Payments should be used to accommodate these farmers, he said, and not high paid executives in farming organisations.

Roddy also said that the proposed levy could be introduced if the Oireachtas was to pass legislation.

This is something I hope never happens but we do need our politicians and political parties to clarify their position on this.

Autumn GLAS payments could exclude commonage farmers

Autumn GLAS payments will not be paid out to commonage farmers who have not completed a Commonage Management Plan (CMP), according to the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA).

This issue has been confirmed in previous meetings between the INHFA and Department of Agriculture staff, the INHFA Chair of the CAP committee, Colm O Donnell, has said.

O’Donnell outlined how problems with the Department of Agriculture’s IT System have left planners unable to log-in or complete any CMP’s.

“In previous meetings with Department Staff, we were informed that Brussels would not allow payment to any farmer where a CMP was not completed.

It would be totally unacceptable if commonage farmers are left without payment because of factors outside their control.