Commitments given to address the long running issue of supporting the forgotten farmer group in the upcoming CAP has been welcomed by the Irish Natura & Hill Farmers Association (INHFA).
This group of farmers which is estimated to be in the region of 3,500 were, on entering farming not in a position to avail of targeted young farmers support through the previous two CAP Programmes. These supports included the young farmer installation aid, 60% grant aid through various farm improvement schemes and improved Pillar 1 payments through the National Reserve and the Young Farmer Scheme.
National President Vincent Roddy stressed how the upcoming CAP must deliver for these farmers and stated how “this is about fairness not favouritism.” We are, he stated, “looking at all options to ensure that these farmers are supported going forward while also attempting to address the income these farmers lost out on over the last number of years.”
On this basis we are “looking to address any shortfall in their Pillar 1 payment and the INHFA have through our CAP proposals included a specific category for this group. In addition to this we are also looking for additional support comparable with that available to young farmers for farm improvements under TAMS and its successor. There will also need to be a once-off substantial payment for the 3,500 farmers in this category.”
In concluding the INHFA leader stated how “this has always been a key priority for the INHFA and we look forward to working with the Minister and his staff in getting this over the line.”