The message from the government’s announcement this morning (Wednesday, October 20) is that it’s “not interested in supporting active farming”, according to the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA).

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue today revealed details of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) funding allocations for agricultural schemes at a special conference at government buildings.

“A cohort of our most productive farmers are going to be devastated by the CAP decisions at EU level. The minister’s own decisions today will do nothing to help these farmers,” IFA president Tim Cullinan said.

“The total emphasis is on rewarding farmers for reducing production. The Greens are clearly running the show, with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael being led by the nose.

“The minister’s plan to allocate the maximum 25% of every farmer’s basic payment to so-called ‘eco-schemes’ is bizarre, as the minister himself fought to secure flexibility on this at EU level.”

Those active farming ‘nailed by these reforms’

The IFA said that at present, “only a third of Irish farmers are viable”, and that the announcements today will “reduce the number of viable farmers”.

He said that the funding for suckler cows, ewes and the tillage sector was “totally inadequate”.

Cullinan pointed out that “over €2 billion of the funding announced today was EU funding, which had been announced previously, while €749 million was from carbon tax which was committed in the Programme for Government”.

“For the government to say they have increased co-funding for the CAP by 50% is disingenuous as this includes the government’s promised carbon tax allocation,” Cullinan continued.

“The irony is that the carbon tax income is generated by active farmers, who have no alternative fuel source. Yet, they are the ones being nailed by these reforms and now by our own government.”