Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has secured a position on the important Agriculture and Rural Affairs committee in the European Parliament. Speaking in Strasbourg following his appointment he said that the future of rural Ireland depends on a strong network of family farms.
Cllr Carthy said:
“I intend to use my position on the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee to secure results for Rural Ireland. Rural communities have been particularly impacted by austerity and lack of infrastructural investment in recent years.
“The future of rural Ireland depends on a strong network of family farms. The development of a thriving agriculture sector needs farmers- farmers who are confident and supported in their work both by central government and by Europe.
“Recent CAP changes have repercussions for Irish farmers and I will try to ensure that those in the most disadvantaged areas are not only protected but encouraged and incentivised to continue farming. I will also be engaging with Minister Coveney in a bid to ensure that some of the more impractical and unfair elements of his own roll-out of the Rural development plan are addressed.
“Historically, CAP has favoured a small minority of recipients who received the lion’s share of the Single Farm Payment without having any greater productivity than those on lower payments. Sinn Féin supports the re-establishment of the principles of CAP: food security and fair prices.
“We need a better deal for all of rural Ireland. It is vital that budgets are maintained in the coming years and that implementation of the CAP regime includes a significant redistribution of funds towards the majority of farmers, many of whom are struggling to maintain a viable income.
“Above all, I intend to use my position on the Agriculture & Rural Development committee to stand up for Rural Ireland’s interest at all times and to defend the right of small family farms to earn a decent living.”