The CAP Health Check negotiated for Ireland by the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, will deliver some €170 million to Irish farmers over the next five years.
That’s according to Fianna Fáil Senator and Government spokesperson on agriculture in Seanad Eireann, John Carty, who has welcomed the news and commended Minister Smith on the successful negotiations.
“At a conservative estimate this deal will mean €100 million worth of additional milk production and over three years it will also mean €70 million worth of additional payments to farmers,” outlined Senator Carty.
“This is a very good deal negotiated for Irish farmers in very challenging agricultural circumstances. Through tough negotiations that went on through the night, it was agreed that milk quotas would be increased by one per cent per year for each of the next five years. A review of the market situation before December 2010 and December 2012 will further consider the conditions for smoothly phasing out the milk quota system in 2015.”
“Including the two per cent quota increase already in place for 2008, this means that an additional 500 million litres of milk will be produced in Ireland when these changes come into effect. Minister Smith also managed to maintain the butter and skimmed milk powder intervention schemes intact, despite a determined effort to introduce tendering for every tonne of butter and SMP intervened. Current arrangements were also maintained for butter private storage aid,” explained Sen Carty.
“With regard to additional funding for farm payments, Minister Smith also succeeded in obtaining a charge in the provisions that will allow him to target specific sectors in need of assistance. He wanted to be able to support sections and regions under particular pressure, and he was successful in his goal.
“Another measure agreed that will benefit Irish farmers is in relation to the the Commission’s proposals to allow land afforested in 2009 and later years under EU rural development programmes to be eligible from 2010 to draw down single payment. Minister Smith negotiated a deal whereby land afforested under our nationally funded, State-aided afforestation programme will also be eligible.
“Some simplifications of the EU scheme were also achieved under the negotiations and Minister Smith said, that while he is happy with the simplifications agreed, he has also asked the Council and the Commission to continue with the simplifications process further in order to reduce the bureaucracy affecting Irish farmers,” concluded Sen Carty.