INHFA ‘disappointed’ with outcome of Budget 2020

The Irish Natura and Hill Farmers’ Association (INHFA) has said it is “disappointed” with ‘Budget 2020’ which – according to the group – “fails to deliver for the smaller suckler farmer and the hill sheep sector”.

The national president of the INHFA, Colm O’Donnell, said: “The organisation has no problem with the decision to continue the Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot [BEEP]; there is the need to recognise that many small-scale suckler farmers have not gotten into this scheme as they see no value in it.

“However, a welfare-based scheme – as outlined in the INHFA Beef Cow/Calf Health Plan paying €200 on the first 10 cows – is a proposal popular with these farmers which is why we are bitterly disappointed that the minister didn’t move some way on this option.

For our hill sheep farmers, there was an opportunity to use some of the unspent funds in the sheep welfare scheme and make a top-up payment.

“Sadly, this opportunity has once again being missed as too was our proposal to pay for the cost of EID tagging from these unspent funds.”

In relation to the emergency fund available to farmers in the event of a no-deal Brexit the farm leader expressed reservations that the fund, in this eventuality, will be enough.

Concluding, he said: “For many farmers, Brexit is already impacting the price at the factory gate for beef and lambs, which is why immediate support is needed.”