Tipperary farm leader sets out IFA stall with Minister Calleary

IFA president Tim Cullinan led an IFA delegation to meet the new Agriculture Minister Dara Calleary.

“It was an opportunity for us to discuss the outcome of the CAP talks and while the allocation for Pillar 1 is down, there are still some technical issues to decide which could avoid a cut in the 2021 BPS. The Minister and his officials must do all they can to avoid any cut BPS,” he said.

The Tooemvara farmer said that the other important issue was the level of national co-financing for schemes such as the BDGP, Sheep Welfare, GLAS and TAMS. The maximum level of permissible co-financing has expanded to 57%. The Government must commit to the maximum co-financing.

“Farm schemes must target active farmers and issues like the unfair burden of designated land must be addressed,” he said.

Mr Cullinan said that he also made it clear to Minister Calleary that the €50m Covid-19 support  scheme for beef must give significant support to the finishers who lost the most as a result of the crisis.

"A scattergun approach to distributing this fund would be a lost opportunity,” he said.

Regarding what he terms as the "looming threat of Brexit", Mr Cullinan said that the €5bn EU contingency fund was a significant development, but there was also need to strengthen the €110m Brexit reserve for agriculture introduced in the last Budget.

“We were clear that IFA intends to engage constructively on the commitments in the Programme for Government on climate action and diversity,” he said. “However, we emphasised the importance of productive agriculture and the need to secure the continuation of the nitrates derogation."

Other issues discussed included tillage, renewables, forestry, Fair Deal, aquaculture and the recent landslide in Leitrim.

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