With ongoing uncertainty around Brexit there is stated INHFA President Colm O’Donnell “the real possibility of any new CAP deal, not starting until 2021 or even 2022.” In this eventuality he continued farmers with low Pillar 1 payments who are often depending on additional income support from Pillar 2 Schemes such as GLAS or AEOS will need to be protected.
When previous CAP Programs did not start up as expected measures were put in place to roll over schemes and stated O’Donnell our Government needs to commit to this and get clarity in Brussels on it if required. While schemes such as the ANC are easy to roll on due to it being an annual payment other schemes he added “such as GLAS and the BDGP are for a set number of years and need more consideration.”
Of particular concern to the INHFA are farmers that have been coming out of AEOS in recent years and have no opportunity to join GLAS. For these farmers and others that didn’t get accepted into GLAS the possibility of a three to four year wait is unacceptable. For this reason stated O’Donnell “the organisation is calling for the re-opening of GLAS for a five year term to accommodate farmers not in any Agri-Environmental Scheme and a commitment to extend it for any farmer whose contract may end prior to the commencement of a new CAP Program.”
With regard to cattle and sheep the farmer’s leader called for “a commitment to continue the sheep welfare scheme into the new CAP Program and for our suckling sector which is in crisis, the establishment of a targeted suckler/weanling welfare scheme with simple measures similar to the sheep welfare scheme and paying up to €200 per cow/weanling.”
He concluded by calling for the continuation in convergence of payments. These payments which will reach 60% of the national average (€160/ha) this year should he stated “continue to increase in the coming years towards the national average and not be left on hold at the current 60% because no CAP deal has being finalised.”