CAP funding cut ‘not consistent with EU’s green aspirations’

The funding provided for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) over the next seven years is “not consistent with the EU’s aspirations for farming as part of the European Green Deal”, according to the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA).

Reacting to the outcome of EU talks and the resulting CAP deal agreed, IFA president Tim Cullinan said:

“On the one hand the commission wants farmers to take costly actions to implement the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies – but on the other hand they don’t want to provide the necessary funding.

The overall allocation for CAP is down approximately 9% at constant prices, compared to the previous seven years.

“The government will need to come forward with significant co-financing to protect payments,” he said.

“What farmers will want to know is how these figures, together with national co-financing from the Government, will translate into payments at farm level,” he said.

“The Taoiseach now needs to give a clear commitment to all farmers that their payments will at least be maintained in real terms during the transition in 2021/2022 and beyond when the new CAP comes into play,” he said.

These talks were difficult with push-back from the so-called frugal countries reducing funding for rural development from the recovery fund from €15 billion to €7.5 billion during the talks.

“While there is a ring-fenced ‘additional allocation’ for Ireland under rural development of €300 million, the government will need to provide significant national co-financing to support these programmes,” he said.

An essential aspect of the outcome is the creation of a €5 billion contingency fund for Brexit, the IFA president noted.

“Depending on the Brexit outcome this may not be sufficient, but it is an important acknowledgement that some sectors and member states will need aid if there is a poor outcome to the Brexit talks,” Cullinan concluded.