Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) negotiations are at the 11th hour and 59th minute with Western farmers being sacrificed to prop up larger historic benefactors.

This is according to United Farmers Association (UFA), who will be among a number of farm organisations that are set to attend a crunch meeting this weekend focusing on the current CAP Reform Polciy. 

The event, which is being organised by a group of farmers in Ballinlough, Co Roscommon takes place this Sunday at 6:30pm. 

According to the UFA, there are some serious questions to be answered by the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, in relation to the CAP.

It said among the questions it will be posing are as follows: “Why is the minister opting for a variable greening payment?, Why not cap payments at €400 per ha?, Are the banks being protected here at the expense of western low income farmers ?, What is the long-term plan for the Irish beef industry ?, Why are the elected representatives in the area not jumping up and down with anger, seeing as the rural economy is dying on its feet?”

According to one of the organisers of the event, Ronan Kelly, the meeting will be an opportunity for everyone who wants to air an opinion on the reform of the CAP.

“The idea behind the event is to give farmers and anyone who wishes a chance to air their views, comments or questions ready for the organisations and politicians who will be in attendance on the night.”

Kelly added: “Farmers need to understand the importance the CAP Reform will have on their business. We will be asking them do you want a fairer distribution of the single farm payment, a meaningful environmental scheme, a voice for young farmers, a fairer price for produce.”

He noted: “It has taken a collapse in the beef industry to awaken awareness as to the seriousness of the CAP deal for small and low-income farmers. Please attend this meeting, educate yourselves as to the consequences of what this CAP Reform could to do to small farmers and rural Ireland.”

The event takes place in the clubhouse of Michael Glaveys GAA Club in Ballinlough, Co Roscommon at 6.30pm this Sunday.

Image: Simmental suckler herd. Photo O’Gorman Photography