The Irish Natura & Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) has contested the narrative that the current CAP proposals will undermine the income of Irish farmers.
INHFA National Council representative for Roscommon/East Galway John Flynn stated that nationally “under a full flattening of payments, 72,710 farmers will gain, representing 60% of all farmers while in Roscommon 3,587 farmers will benefit which accounts for 64% of all farmers in the county”.
“With the EU Parliament holding their ground for the full flattening of payments, it is unbelievable that a Parliament in Brussels is more in touch with the needs of Irish farmers than many of the public and farming representatives here.
“A full flattening of Pillar 1 payments would see all farmers paid a national average by 2026 of €265/ha which includes the proposed eco-scheme. This will be delivered through the convergence of payments over the lifetime of the CAP Programme,” he added.
Another proposal outlined at EU level is the option to front-load payments through the Complementary Redistributive Income Support for Sustainability (CRISS). This, Mr. Flynn said, allows countries to target additional payments on the first number of hectares to support small holders. To fund this a country can put a limit on the maximum payment and if required apply a cut to the overall Pillar 1 budget.
Mr. Flynn outlined how the INHFA are supporting this “as it will benefit small holders and potentially increase the payments for farmers on the first 10-20ha to over €300/ha which will be critical to a county like Roscommon where the average farm size is 26ha”.
He added: “It is vital that the delivery of public goods in terms of improved water and air quality, improved biodiversity and mitigating against climate change is remunerated in the upcoming CAP.
“The EU’s Nature Fitness Check has established how our designated lands are delivering between €2 to 3 billion each year to our economy which translates into almost €3,000/ha. In the new CAP we must ensure this output is recognised in the same way farming output is”.
Concluding, the INHFA Representative stressed that “how despite the concerns expressed by some, the current proposals will deliver for the vast majority of Irish and Roscommon farmers”.