INHFA rally on CAP proposals set for Letterkenny next week

The Irish Natura and Hill Farmers’ Association (INHFA) will hold a rally in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal next Friday (January 25), to discuss the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the Areas of Natural Constraints (ANC) Scheme.

The rally, scheduled for 8:00pm at the Clanree Hotel, will address the proposed changes in the next round of the CAP, which, the INHFA say, will have a “huge impact” of farmers over the course of the next six years.

“As a relatively new organisation which was formed due to the dissatisfaction with the last CAP deal, we are determined that we have our say this time round,” said INHFA national president Colm O’Donnell.

According to O’Donnell, the group’s main concerns are the revised conditions that farmers would have to comply with to get their basic payment.

He argued that, if these conditions are implemented, they “will have major implications for many farmers in the west that are farming on wetlands or peat land, often referred to as carbon rich soils”.

Intensive farmers on dryer soils would be allowed drive on and increase production while farmers on the hills and lowland farmers on wetter soils would be expected to protect the environment and take on the full burden of climate change through carbon sequestration measures – for the same or possibly less money than they are receiving now through all their CAP payments, with the added risk of losing these payments.

On the ANC Scheme, the INHFA is calling for the scheme’s payment bands to reflect the level of constraint.

O’Donnell called for farmers to attend the meeting and put pressure on the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, for “better supports and fairer conditions”.