Recent proposals to ensure a national reserve for young farmers is available each year have being welcomed by the Irish Natura & Hill Farmers Association.
National Chair Vincent Roddy stated “the future prosperity of Irish agriculture depends on young people getting involved and the minimum requirement should be that all young farmers get the national average in pillar 1 payments” However added Mr Roddy “the challenge in all of this is how we get the money to fund it” The INHFA estimates that we could need up to €5 million each year to ensure all young farmers are catered for. Present proposals to introduce a flat rate cut on all farmers of up to 2% over the lifetime of this CAP Program will have a negative impact on farm families.
“Other options to deliver this has to be looked at” stated Mr Roddy who pointed to the 50% claw-back on the sale of entitlements which he stated “will be counter-productive and deliver little or nothing to an ongoing reserve.
The INHFA position on this is that a claw-back of 20% would be more effective in encouraging the trading of entitlements and deliver more money for a reserve. Another option that should be considered added Mr Roddy “is reducing the
amount of money any farmer receives in Pillar 1 payments which presently stands at €150,000 per year” This he said “could be done on a phased basis over the 5 years thus ensuring an ongoing reserve each year”
Mr Roddy concluded by emphasising how any proposal on CAP needs to prioritise the family farm which he said “is the bed-rock, not just of agriculture but the wide rural economy, especially in areas where other employment opportunities are limited”