Macra president: Smooth transition to CAP 2020 ‘essential’

The president of Macra Na Feirme, James Healy, has warned that a smooth transition from the current Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to its reformed version after 2020 is essential to avoid creating more “forgotten young farmers”.

His comments come after it was revealed yesterday (Tuesday, February 19) that CAP 2020 will not be up for decision until after the European elections in May this year.

Healy said that this type of bureaucracy was potentially damaging to the continuity of schemes for younger farmers.

This is history repeating itself; when we consider past CAP reforms, negotiations have always proven to be complicated and protracted. Added to this current round of negotiations are European elections, Brexit and a Multi-Financial-Framework (MMF) to consider.

“From a young farmer perspective, consistency and continuity of young farmer schemes and supports remains our priority, and a smooth transition from the current CAP to its successor is our primary concern,” said Healy.

He added: “We believe this is essential to avoid creating another group of forgotten young farmers.”

The European Parliament Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development will vote on the policy in April; the final vote, by the full legislative body, will not take place until after the new parliament sits following the May elections.

Healy concluded by saying: “The ambition, budget and tools to support young farmers must be greater in CAP 2020, in what will be a pivotal decade for generational renewal both in Ireland and across Europe.”