first_imgMEPs won the most of the €12.5Billion announced for farmers by Minister Simon Coveney, MEP Marian Harkin insists.The independent representative said 85% of the money will come from EU fundsShe said: “For the last three years MEPs have insisted on an adequate budget to support agriculture and the proof of that support is visible for all in the recent allocations. “While the budget is crucial, how it is targeted is even more so. The Single Farm Payment is now to be distributed on a more equal basis with all farmers receiving a minimum of 60% of the national average entitlement by 2019. It is worth noting that the European Council of Ministers tried to push this date out to 2021 but the Parliament stood firm and the transition period will end in 2019. This change will help ensure a more equitable allocation whereby those who lost out in the last CAP round will at least regain some ground.“It is now crucial for Minister Coveney to start the redistribution process immediately. He has the flexibility to do this and such action will help ensure that the direct payment system is made fairer and more equitable from day one.“It is also worth emphasising that the European Parliament stood firm in its support for young farmers where it insisted on a mandatory ‘up to 2%’ of the national ceiling to be allocated to them. It is good news to see that the Minister has taken this proposal fully on board and that he will give further support to young farmers under the Rural Development Programme.“Timelines also matter for Pillar 11 on rural development payments. The Minister has done good work in ensuring a 46 % co-financing rate but the proposed rural development schemes urgently need to be put in place. Approximately 30,000 farmers are exiting REPS 4 and nearly 17,000 finish in 2014. The new GLAS scheme must be ready for these farmers as well as those who are exiting AEOS. “It is good to see the Minister’s commitment to an extra €2,000 for farmers who take on extra commitments beyond the GLAS requirements and this money should be targeted at sensitive areas and organic farmers. Time is of the essence and farmers cannot be left waiting for the schemes to start.“The expansion of the country’s beef herd which is central to the country’s export performance while not having the benefit of a substantial suckler cow scheme will nevertheless benefit from the proposed new measures including the €80 payment per calved cow.“The dairy sector will be helped considerably in its expansion by the support for capital investment. However expansion in this sector should bring with it a health warning. For the future the dairy industry will be dependent on producing commodities and like all commodities milk is subject very much to the vagaries of our export markets. As such all expansion which involves borrowing needs to be clinically examined. The knowledge transfer measures and the new collaborative farming measures are very positive for helping to offset the cyclical nature of milk prices.“There will be significant concerns within the sheep sector as the sheep grassland Scheme has been subsumed into the baseline Single Farm Payment for sheep farmers and there are no special supports announced similar to those in the beef sector. The Minister will need to re-examine his commitment to this sector which in 2013 had export values exceeded €220 million.“It is hoped that the sheep sector will benefit from the distribution of direct payments and that this will offset the dropping of the Grassland Sheep Scheme. This sector must also be favoured in the workout of the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme and the new GLAS scheme which replaces REPS but unfortunately there will be a lesser payment and few farmers included. “The encouragement for artisan food producers and for island communities is very welcome and these sectors need to be actively encouraged as central to Ireland’s reputation for top quality natural foods“All in all the Minister has delivered a relatively balanced package. There is still a lot of detail to be worked out but the priority now should be to get the various schemes up and running as quickly as possible and start the redistribution of the Single Farm Payment”, Marian Harkin MEP concluded.MEPs WON THE FUNDING FOR FARMERS – HARKIN was last modified: January 15th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:MEPs WON THE FUNDING FOR FARMERS – HARKINlast_img

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