Cullinan: CAP plan will drive down food production

IFA President Tim Cullinan said the CAP strategic plan recently approved by Cabinet and announced for at least the third time, will undermine food production and contains unrealistic targets.

“The impact of the Eco schemes along with further convergence, front loading and greater conditionality will hit a cohort of our most productive farmers the hardest,” he said.

“A number of the new schemes including the suckler cow, sheep and environmental schemes are underfunded. Last week’s Budget was a missed opportunity to rectify this.

“The environmental scheme ACRES needs significant changes to ensure it is workable for farmers”.

The IFA President said Minister Hackett’s prediction of a fivefold increase in organic production in just five years was not realistic.

“The capacity for the market to deliver a sustainable income for organic farmers is not currently there,” he said.

“As we have seen over the past 12 months, the landscape of farming and the economy can drastically change, and it continues to do so. This plan needs to have flexibility and be adaptable to any future changes, this is something that Commissioner Wojciechowski also reiterated when he addressed IFA back in May”.