Ferris: CAP reform must be fair and sustainable
Sinn Féin spokespeople on Agriculture Martin Ferris TD has stressed that any deal agreed on reform of the CAP farm payments scheme must be equitable and fair. He was speaking as chairs of national agriculture committees meet in Dublin to hear an update on the Commission proposals.
Deputy Ferris said: "As negotiations on the reform of the Single Farm Payment enter a crucial phase, there is an intense and widespread debate within the farming community. Despite some of the perception being created, there are substantial numbers of farmers who wish to see a move away from the current scheme, to one which will ensure a fairer and more sustainable system for small to medium producers in the future.
“The perception among the many small to medium producers is that the debate has been skewed in favour of larger producers who are in receipt of large payments. At present over 80% of farmers receive an average payment of just over €5,000. Just 1.62% receive more than €50,000 but that accounts for over 10% of the total payments.
“There is also some resentment regarding the perception that farmers on lower incomes and payments are in some way ‘unproductive’ and there has been a hint of hostility towards those farmers in some of what has been said in relation to proposals to reduce payments for those at the upper end of the scale.
“It is also vital that a viable scheme is introduced to encourage the transfer of land to younger farmers which aid future development.”
Deputy Ferris has been invited to a key meeting of Munster farmers in Newcastlewest tomorrow evening at which there is expected to a vigorous debate on the proposals.”