The viability of family farms has been threatened by a combination of reduced national funding for farm schemes, lower CAP supports, and greater exposure to volatile world markets, the IFA claimed yesterday.
Launching its general election submission, it said farmers need to see tangible measures that address these threats.
Jer Bergin, national chairman, said the IFA will work to ensure that politicians and political parties establish policies that promise a real and positive impact on agriculture and rural Ireland.
“We expect firm commitments from all parties that they will undertake actions to support agriculture, put the sustainable and profitable growth of family farming to the fore, and prioritise the rejuvenation of rural Ireland as an essential element of economic recovery,” he said.
The IFA is seeking an annual expenditure of €580m (national and EU) for farm schemes, including the restoration of cuts to payment rates for disadvantaged areas and €250m allocation for the environmental scheme GLAS.
It also wants stronger CAP budget and supports and increased supports for low-income sectors and vulnerable regions, including targeted payments of €200 per suckler cow and €20 per ewe.
Effective measures to redress the balance of power in the food supply chain and ensure fair and viable commodity prices for farmers, are also being sought.
The IFA is seeking delivery for farmers from access to new export markets, as well as improved services and infrastructure for rural Ireland.
It is also seeking taxation measures that improve farm profitability, promote on-farm investment, and encourage young farmers.
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