With over 60% of farmers standing to gain from an Eco-scheme that is paid on a flat rate basis the Irish Natura & Hill Farmers Association have called on Minister McConalogue to hold firm on the payment details outlined in the CAP Strategic Plan.
National President Vincent Roddy stated that “despite suggestions made through meetings over the last week that the Eco-scheme will cost farmers money, 73,000 or 60% of farmers will gain.”
On this basis it is, added the INHFA president “vital that farmers understand the motive behind the outrage expressed at these meetings, which is to protect excessively high payments by undermining current proposals on the Eco-scheme and the front-loaded payment option under the CRISS.”
It is, continued Roddy, “absolutely essential that all farmers receive an equal and appropriate payment per hectare for the measures they are expected to undertake in the Eco-scheme. To pay farmers at different rates or a lower payment than is currently suggested would undermine future demands for a fair payment in recognition of income lost and the public good delivered in addressing climate change and biodiversity loss.”
The INHFA leader stressed the need for farmers to look carefully at what is being demanded at some of these meetings. This CAP will, he stated “see a vital redistribution of funds through convergence, CRISS and the Eco-scheme that will support and help ensure the viability of many smaller holdings.”
Concluding, Roddy outlined how small holders need to back themselves on this and demand that the Minister prioritises their needs and not the needs of Sheik Mohammad and Larry Goodman which he stated “can be done through the proposed redistribution as outlined in this CAP Plan.”