Minister ‘Must Deliver’ On SFP
At a meeting last week with Minister of Agriculture, Simon Coveney, IFA President John Bryan warned of the devastating consequences for individual farmers and for the agri-food sector if the Single Farm Payment is redistributed on a flat rate basis, as proposed by Commissioner Ciolos.
The meeting with the Minister was in advance of a critical Agricultural Council of Ministers next Monday, where issues on CAP reform will be decided. Mr Bryan also made it clear to the Minister that Rural Development payments must be prioritised for active farmers in vulnerable sectors and regions.
He said, “The Minister must ensure that the distinct roles of Pillar I and Pillar II are maintained, and targeted correctly, in order to maximise the output generated from the CAP funding available. This means the maintenance of farming across all parts of Ireland, support for farmers for foodproduction and the provision of public goods, such as land management, environmental goods and biodiversity”.
He said, “The purpose of the Single Farm Payment is to support high quality food production. Movement to a flat rate payment per hectare, regardless of enterprise or activity, will undermine production and remove any possibility of reaching the Food Harvest 2020 growth targets.
The Commission’s proposal for flattening and regionalisation of the Single Farm Payment is simplistic, wrong, and totally unacceptable. A flat payment will cause major disruption and loss of income and viability at farm level, damaging our most productive farmers. Ireland requires a flexible payment model that limits the loss over the longest time frame for active productive farmers.
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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