The Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) has formally written to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) Charlie McConalogue calling for him to restart the Internal Convergence mechanism for the remainder of the CAP Transition Regulation period.
The INHFA President Colm O’Donnell reminded the Minister that he had given a commitment to look at releasing the pause button on convergence for 2022 and that he would be engaging widely with farmers in making his decision.
The farm leader pointed out to the Minister that Member States must inform the EU Commission on an annual basis of its intentions regarding any changes to direct payment entitlement values during the Transition period and the deadline date is fast approaching.
“The reason given by the Minister”, stated O’Donnell, “to pause the Internal Convergence process for 2021 was because the budget and the legal framework for the Transition period was only agreed in late November 2020. This meant that the August 2020 deadline had expired for informing the EU Commission of any changes to entitlement values for the 2021 calendar year”.
Concluding, he said “that the Minister must use the flexibility in the Transition Regulation to begin the long road towards a fairer distribution of direct payments to all farmers, something that the majority of Irish farmers have been denied for twenty years and which now must be addressed by our Minister.