Reacting to this Thursday’s CSO estimate, IFA president John Bryan said the fact that farm income figures are largely unchanged from last year underlines the astronomical costs that faced farmers in a year when product prices were stronger.
He said it underlines the importance of the Government coming forward with 50:50 co-financing for the Rural Development Plan 2014-2020 to drive jobs and output, and meet the sector’s food export targets.
“The low level of farm incomes highlights the need for support for farmers in vulnerable regions and sectors, where the viability of thousands of farm families depends on a strong Rural Development Plan. I would be very concerned about the future of rural Ireland if the Government does not provide with 50:50 co-financing for the next RDP. Farming and food production will deliver extra output, jobs and exports, but it has to be supported,” said Mr Bryan.
He said the improved weather conditions in the second half of this year came after the difficulties associated with the fodder crisis during the first half of 2013.
“The small rise in today’s CSO statistics does not cancel out the decrease recorded on farms last year. The pressure remains on farm families who are trying to manage the budgets of their businesses and households,” he said.
The IFA president said the price picture is not the same across all commodities, with the tillage sector impacted by poor prices.
He said these are farmers who have made significant investments and the price drops will affect their viability.