BDGP: ‘Our suckler farmers rely on these schemes to make ends meet’
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue has been called on to provide clarity on the continuation of the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) scheme during the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) transition phase.
Making the calls, the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) suckler chairman Ger O’Brien said:
“Suckler farmers badly need the funding allocated to the BDGP and it must continue uninterrupted.
The ICSA is calling for an immediate commitment by the minister to do everything possible to ensure there is a BDGP-type scheme in place for 2021 and 2022, which are likely to be the CAP transition years.
The scheme marked a “key milestone” for beef in this country with the advent of wider genotyping of cattle, the chairman said.
Continuing, he added: “The ICSA believes the future target must be the genotyping of all calves from the suckler herd as this would be hugely beneficial for the development of suckler beef brands into the future.
“We have made significant developments through the genotyping of cattle and this work should not go to waste,” he said.
O’Brien said there would also be a financial impact for suckler farmers if the scheme is discontinued.
Our suckler farmers rely on these schemes to make ends meet. It is therefore vital when a scheme is coming to an end that provisions are made for a new scheme to be devised, or where that is not possible, for the scheme to be rolled over.
“A new and improved BDGP scheme may have to wait until a new CAP is finalised, but in the interim it is crucial that the work of the BDGP scheme can continue and suckler farmers can continue to be supported.
“We also need confirmation that the BEEP S scheme will continue during the full transition phase,” O’Brien concluded.