The Sinn Féin EU candidate for the Midlands Northwest, Matt Carthy, attended a public information meeting in Claremorris, Co. Mayo on Tuesday evening on the issue of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
Speaking following the meeting Cllr Carthy said:
“First off I would like to commend the Farmers’ Journal for hosting what was an informative and successful public information meeting on CAP.
“It was obvious from the 600-strong turnout that there are very many issues to be resolved around the new CAP agreement. We believe that the agreement was a missed opportunity to right the wrongs of the past and to ensure that the viability of farming is secured for the future. However, there is still time for the Minister to amend the scheme to better support those farmers who need it most.
“There was particular concern voiced at the meeting around the Young Farmers Scheme and the exclusion of young farmers under 40 who had started farming since 2008. They will not have access to the full five years of the scheme and those who commenced before 2008 will not qualify at all.
“Sinn Féin has always advocated a well-funded, flexible and fair CAP reform. Such reform should ensure that all farmers have an adequate and secure income from their farming practices.
“The development of a thriving agriculture sector needs farmers. The future of rural Ireland depends on the continuance of a strong network of family farms. That means that statutory agencies should see their role as supporting farmers rather than frustrating and hindering their lives.”