After constituency hustings hosted by the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association the resounding unanimous call coming from all election candidates is to Get Convergence Done, according to INHFA President Colm O’Donnell.
This comment came after the Donegal and Sligo / Leitrim election meetings where all candidates including those from Fine Gael have weighed in behind the Farm Organisations call for full convergence of CAP Pillar 1 payments during the next CAP programme and its continuation during the Transition period.
“It is no longer credible”, stated O’Donnell “that direct farm supports are still related to the level of livestock activity on farms twenty years ago. The European Commission has set a pathway whereby nineteen member states have already reached full internal convergence in 2019 and has drafted Transition Regulation for Ireland’s internal convergence model to continue over the interim period until the new CAP programme kicks in”.
The farm Leader continued by saying, “that our current Agriculture Minister Michael Creed has indicated that it is his intention to pause the convergence process for the next two years, citing that it would be’ unfair ‘to continue because of a potential cut in the CAP budget and no operational need to implement the Commission proposal at this stage”.
“What is unfair is that for the next two years such a pause would potentially see one farmer receiving €48 per hectare and another receiving €210 per hectare for the same measure in the Greening scheme where both farmers are paid for the retention of permanent grassland on their farms.”
Concluding, O’Donnell said” that anyone attempting to defend the Ministers position is seriously putting future European taxpayers funding for environmental measures at risk and could see further reductions to our national envelope”. Next week the INHFA Election roadshow moves onto the Galway West constituency on Tuesday night 28th at Peacocks, Maam Cross, then onto Roscommon /East Galway at Castlerea Mart canteen on Wednesday 29th and then the Mayo constituency on Friday 31st at the Castlecourt Hotel, Westport .
All meetings are open to the public and starts at 8pm.