Top 10 beneficiaries of direct payments under CAP revealed

The list of beneficiaries of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) payments in the Republic of Ireland was recently published by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

The department is obliged, by EU regulations, to publish the list of all beneficiaries of CAP funding – once they receive more than €1,250 – by the end of May each year.

In 2017, there was a total of 129,907 individuals or companies who benefited from some form of payment under the CAP.

The sum of all of these payments equated to approximately €1.69 billion, according to the figures released by the Department of Agriculture.

For the purpose of this exercise, we examined the figures to determine the top 10 sums paid out to farmers or companies in 2017 – once the bulk of the payment was made up of direct payments.

Entities such as local authorities that received other CAP monies, under the LEADER programme for example, have been excluded from this exercise.

A list of the top 10 CAP beneficiaries in Ireland whose payments were primarily derived from direct payments

O’Shea Farms Ltd in Piltown, Co. Kilkenny, retained the top position in 2017 – despite its overall payment decreasing by almost €6,000 compared to the previous year.

Three of the top 10 recipients are located in Co. Meath, while two are based in Co. Waterford as well as two in Co. Kilkenny.

The recent publication of the preliminary results of Teagasc’s National Farm Survey for 2017 indicated that farm incomes continued to be “highly reliant” on direct payments.

The average total payment received was €17,672 per farm and this accounted for 75% of average farm income, Teagasc explained.

Direct payments declined by 1% across (farming) systems year-on-year, with a reduction in the basic payment offset by increased payments under the GLAS scheme as well as the introduction of payments under the Sheep Welfare Scheme, it added.