Charlie McConalogue TD has demanded that everything possible must be done to ensure CAP payments properly support farmers and their incomes.
Minister of State McConalogue, who is the former Fianna Fail spokesperson on Agriculture, described CAP payments as the backbone of the Irish farming sector.
CAP provides support for the continuation of the family farm structure, sustains rural communities and maintains farming and economic activity across Ireland, he said, and they must be effective in the period ahead.
“CAP is crucial in terms of supporting farm incomes and it is essential we ensure it safeguards the family farm model of agriculture that places economic, environmental, and socially sustainable farming at its heart,” McConalogue said.
The Minister of State welcomed the allocation of an additional €50 million secured as part of the recently agreed EU budget as an important development, after previous proposals had pressed for a reduction in CAP funding.
“The long-term viability of Irish farms depends on CAP and it will ensure that future generations will continue to farm the land in a sustainable and environmentally friendly fashion,” he said.
McConalogue said the farming sector is committed to doing more on environmental and biodiversity objectives, but added it is crucial that they are rewarded and recompensed for any measures they are being asked to take.
“There must be a strong partnership between farmers and policy makers on how those changes will be implemented and embraced,” he said.
Additional funding for the next Rural Development Programme was welcomed by the Minister of State, who said it played a vital role in Donegal.
“Schemes like the new REPS (Rural Environment Protection Scheme) and ANC (Areas of Natural Constraint) and support for the Suckler sector will be supported by this funding and these are very important to County Donegal,” he said.
“It is important now that funding follows through and is fully delivered in support of these schemes. I look forward to working with the Minister for Agriculture Dara Calleary TD to ensure that the next CAP properly supports Donegal farmers and ensures that incomes are protected,” Minister of State McConalogue concluded.