IFA presidential candidate outlines ‘environmental proposals’
One of the candidates in this month’s presidential election for the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has outlined a set of environmental proposals to “protect suckler farmers in disadvantaged areas”.
Tim Cullinan, the IFA’s current national treasurer, argued that his proposals would also deliver a reduction on carbon emissions.
“Farming is the lifeblood of rural towns and villages and I fundamentally reject the view by some politicians and commentators that the only future for disadvantaged areas is blanket forestry,” the Co. Tipperary pig farmer argued.
No doubt forestry has a role to play, but not at the expense of our suckler herd.
Cullinan continued: “Putting a value on grass as a sequester of carbon, while maintaining and protecting suckler farming in disadvantaged areas, should go hand in hand in a national programme promoted by the Government.”
He highlighted that this would require a “massive” research programme by Teagasc to assess and determine the amount of carbon being sequestered by grass-based production systems.
As well as that, Cullinan called for the reintroduction of a “proper” Rural Environment Protection Scheme (REPS) to replace the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS).
The IFA presidential candidate is calling for premium payments of: €300/head on the first 30 cows; and €250/head after the first 30.
Under Cullinan’s proposals, these payments would be available to all suckler cow farmers “following good farming practices”.
As a final suggestion, Cullinan said: “Carbon fines that would have been paid by the state should be redirected to a special environmental scheme to suckler farmers, that would in turn help Ireland to manage and reduce its carbon emissions.”