IFA: Low incomes still weigh on farm industry

Low incomes in many sectors have been identified by the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) as a challenge to the sustainability of farm enterprises and a barrier to new entrants.

IFA president Joe Healy said the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) after 2020 must target an overall improvement in farm income levels.

This must be done through targeted measures for investment and efficiency, generational renewal and the strengthening of farmers’ bargaining position in the food supply chain.

IFA chief economist Rowena Dwyer said that modernisation and simplification of the CAP are essential.

Previous reforms aspired to simplification, but the reality is that the policy has become much more complicated and bureaucratic at the farm level, she said.

In the context of Brexit, the IFA stressed in a submission to the European Commission that a strong budget is critical for farm incomes, farm output and wider economic activity

“The EU Commission has acknowledged that agricultural prices have fallen since the last CAP reform, mainly due to macroeconomic factors and geopolitical decisions,” it says.


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