Active farmers are not a priority in CAP reform talks, says Macra chief

Active farmers are not a priority in the ongoing CAP reform talks, says Macra na Feirme’s agricultural affairs committee chairman Sean Coughlan.

The Macra spokesman said CAP reform still lacks an effective mechanism to deliver Single Farm Payment to active farmers. In its present draft form the revised CAP does not do enough to ensure farm payments prioritise active farmers over land owners.

Mr Coughlan said: “The CAP must facilitate land being released from persons who don’t want to engage in agricultural production and encourage it to become available to active farmers who want to produce food and grow their businesses.

“The only obligation on farmers currently is to maintain their lands in good agricultural and environmental condition, with no obligation or encouragement to maximise the productive potential of the land.”

Macra is considering a proposal that those who are farming their land less intensively than the reference years of 2000-2002 should not be rewarded with a full SFP payments in the new CAP. The young farmer group suggests that a system where farmers must maintain 70% of their farming activity since the reference year in order to maintain their level of Single Farm Payment under the new CAP would reward active farmers.

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Karen Walsh

Karen Walsh

Law of the Land

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