An Irish MEP has said that amendments to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) strategic plans should be considered in light of the war in Ukraine.

Colm Markey met with the European Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski today (Tuesday, March 15) to discuss the emerging food security crisis as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The MEP told Agriland that he understands the EU Commission will be communicating with member states in relation to their draft CAP strategic plans at the end of March.

“Certainly what we were asking for was that there will be flexibilities within CAP, but equally possible amendments to the strategic plans to take account of the current circumstances should be considered,” Markey outlined.

MEP meeting with commissioner

During his meeting with Commissioner Wojciechowski, the Ireland Midlands-North West MEP also discussed ongoing issues with fertiliser, grain, fuel prices and the pig sector.

“The first thing on people’s minds is the humanitarian situation; our hearts go out to the people of Ukraine. Beyond that, there is the broader food security issue that’s quite alarming really,” Markey said.

The MEP pushed for “an emergency response” from the EU, including examining duties charged on fertiliser products and exploring alternative supplies.

Measures and incentives for additional crop production that would be “very much focused around farmers with the capability and the expertise to grow grain” were also discussed.

The MEP said that smaller measures could be introduced by the EU around lime application and growing cover crops.

The MEP said that the Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI) recognised the need for a response to the concerns, which could include earlier Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) payments.

However, Markey noted that this would require the support of the wider European Commission, which he said “is probably a challenge”.