Progress on agriculture issues ‘far from done deal’ in government talks

Progress on agriculture issues in talks on government formation are “far from a done deal”, AgriLand understands.

Despite recent reports that substantial progress has been made on matters relating to the agriculture sector in the ongoing negotiations between the Green Party, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, sources close to the process have warned that “this is far from the case”.

It is understood that a further text relating to the agriculture section of a draft programme will be considered tomorrow, Sunday, June 7 – but that to date, nothing has been signed-off on.

This publication also understands that key climate targets relating to agriculture have been dealt with in a separate process – a distinct working group – to the agriculture strand of the government formation talks.

This, it is understood, is a cause for concern in some quarters.

Finally, a source has also said that both larger parties are “holding firm” against Green Party demands for a ban on third country live exports – which has been described as a “Green Party red-line” in some reports.

New ‘REPS’ scheme mooted

Meanwhile, it also emerged earlier this week that a new agri-environment scheme modeled after the Rural Environment Protection Scheme (REPS) is being considered by the parties.

According to senior political sources, the scheme is being described, for the purposes of the talks, as “REPS Mark 2 / Mark II”, though this will not necessarily be the title of the scheme.

It is also understood that the negotiating parties are looking at the possibility of funding the scheme through revenue collected from the Carbon Tax, rather than through funding allocated in the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

Stay tuned to AgriLand for further updates on the talks over the coming days…