The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine has confirmed that there will “not be a limit on the numbers of cows farmers can keep” within the €260m Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme.
Sinn Fein’s Matt Carthy asked Minister Charlie McConalogue if the suckler scheme in the next CAP will include preventative measures for farmers who wish to increase their suckler herds.
Deputy Carthy argued that this would be “the second time a scheme would be introduced that seeks to either reduce or limit suckler production in this state”.
He said such a measure would be “counterproductive”. Furthermore, he warned it would prevent the development of what is Ireland’s “most important sector within agriculture”.
€260m Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme
In response to Carthy’s question during the Dáil debate, Minister Charlie McConalogue said:
“Concerning the new beef carbon efficiency scheme, the first ten cows will receive €150 and €120 thereafter. This is an increase from the €90 and €80 available under the BDGP.”
“There will not be a limit on the number of cows farmers can keep within that scheme.”
“I will set a reference in terms of how many will be paid for. However, there will not be a limit on farmers increasing their numbers.”
“This is a matter on which I have engaged with farmers throughout the country.”
“My objective is to fully support the suckler farmer to ensure it remains an anchor of our beef sector, to support family farms.”
“This the scheme I put in place will do that,” the minister concluded.
Deputy Carthy recently stated that the proposed suckler scheme “comes nowhere close to providing the supports this vital sector needs”.
Furthermore, it is a “far cry from the suckler scheme Sinn Féin advocated, which would deliver up to €300 per cow/calf”.
In summary, he described the government CAP plan as a “dealy betrayal of Ireland’s family farmers”.