'Outraged' Cork farmers to meet Agriculture Minister today over CAP allocations

'Outraged' Cork farmers to meet Agriculture Minister today over CAP allocations

Inchigeela farmer, president of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association Dermot Kelleher said that the proposed allocation of CAP funds suggests that government officials are completely out of touch with reality.

A LARGE number of Cork farmers are expected at Kanturk mart this afternoon to meet Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue.

The Minister is visiting the mart as part of a nationwide series of such visits as part of a public consultation on the formation of the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

Farmers are concerned about the restructuring of payments under the new policy. However, it is expected that today’s meeting will also hear concerns from farmers about carbon budgets announced on Monday.

Members of farming organisations are expected to attend today’s meeting to voice their concerns.

IFA Munster chairman Harold Kingston from Courtmacsherry said: “People are worried about the direction of CAP and there is a lot of anger.” 

He said that today’s meeting is taking place in an area where there is difficult land conditions but where there is a highly productive agriculture output.

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue is visiting Kanturk mart as part of a nationwide series of such visits as part of a public consultation on the formation of the new Common Agricultural Policy. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue is visiting Kanturk mart as part of a nationwide series of such visits as part of a public consultation on the formation of the new Common Agricultural Policy. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

And Inchigeela farmer, president of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association Dermot Kelleher said that the proposed allocation of CAP funds suggests that government officials are completely out of touch with reality.

He added: “It makes no sense whatsoever to allocate €256 million to the organic farming scheme, just marginally less than the €260 million for sucklers and substantially more than the €100 million allocated for the sheep scheme. It’s not that we are against more ambition for the organic sector. 

"But you would have to be on another planet to think this is balanced when there are currently just 1,800 organic scheme participants.” 

And he said: “Sheep farmers are also outraged that they are being offered less than €2 extra per ewe. Worst of all, there is no sign of a plan to support the beef finishing sector. Without a viable beef finishing sector, both dairy and suckler farming is not sustainable.”

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