IFA Warn Of Mass Exodus From Farming Due To New Cap Plan

It'll come into effect from 2023.

The Irish Farmers' Association says thousands of farmers may have to quit the sector due to the new CAP plan. 

It's after the Cabinet yesterday agreed to submit Ireland's draft Strategic Plan to the European Commission. 

The IFA claims many farmers will suffer devastating cuts to their payments when it comes into effect in 2023. 

President Toomavera's Tim Cullinan says it will affect beef, sheep and tillage farmers:

Meanwhile, Junior Agriculture Minister Pippa Hackett is welcoming the Plan as a significant leap forward in the way farmers are supported to protect their farms, their families, their incomes, and their land.

The Offaly senator pointed, in particular, to the Agricultural Environmental and Climate measures (AECM), which will replace GLAS;

“Over the past number of years, our farmers participated in EIP programmes that were the envy of Europe. That is why it is so positive that the new AECM is bringing the ethos of the EIPs into CAP. It’s an ethos that recognises that farmers need local actions with a bottom-up approach that is collaborative and involves farmers in the decision-making process. That, and the presence of strong ecological expertise will, I believe, deliver strong results for the €300m per year that is being allocated to this scheme to protect our high nature-value farmland.”

Minister Hackett also referenced the eco-schemes that will be available to all farmers, saying:

“With fertiliser prices going in just one direction, I think farmers will welcome the multi-species sward measure in the eco-schemes. We have made massive progress on this in the past few months, moving from securing €1 million euro in the recent budget for a pilot to seeing it embedded in the CAP, but as I said when I spoke about in it the Seanad, when I saw a farmer with his sward of grass, clover and herbs, with no need for fertiliser, I believed I was seeing the future. And it’s only one of the available options, all of which are geared towards helping farmers manage their soil and habitats as well as possible.”

The measures in the new CAP that will support women in farming were also welcomed by the Green Party rep;

“We need to support the many women who could and should be heads of farm households. So, I am very happy to see that women farmers will qualify for higher TAMS grants and also that there will be separate Knowledge Transfer Groups for women. I think these measures will help and encourage our female farmers to play the role I know they can.”

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