Ferris stresses need to protect Irish agriculture
Speaking in response to a presentation by the EU Agriculture Commissioner on the forthcoming review of the Common Agricultural Policy the Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Agriculture Martin Ferris TD stressed the importance of protecting the future of Irish agriculture going forward. Commissioner Ciolos addressed the Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture this morning.
Deputy Ferris said:
“I would like to welcome the fact that Commissioner Ciolos has underlined the need to maintain the central aspects of CAP. He referred to the need to maintain the European model of farming which is based on family farms. In that respect I am pleased that he stated that any reform will retain a ‘safety net’ to safeguard against market failure and that there will be no threat to the current payment system.
“However, even with the introduction of the Single Farm Payment farm incomes have continued to fall, by 30% last year alone. It is clear then that more needs to be done in order to protect family farms and this is indeed crucial to maintaining the food security that the Commissioner also referred to as a key priority.
“The only way for this country to bring about the innovation and market reorientation which he referred to is through developing our own strengths and advantages. That lies in focusing on the agri food sector as an engine of growth as emphasised in the report drawn up by my colleague Arthur Morgan. That is a matter for domestic policy but in relation to the CAP it is absolutely essential that the position of Irish farmers is strengthened as part of any reform and I along with Northern Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew will be pushing that on an all Ireland basis during the forthcoming debate and negotiations.”