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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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‘The benefits might not be as great as farmers are being led to believe’

Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice has questioned whether farmers will see benefits of “a supposed rise” CAP strategic plan funding.

Minister McConalogue announced that funding over the seven-year period will increase by almost 30% or €1.2 billion compared to the 2014-2020 period.

Last week, the minister also revealed indicative allocations for Pillar II measures.

CAP strategic plan

Reacting to the announcement, Fitzmaurice said:

“While the primary headline is the supposed increase to the overall budget, I am left questioning where farmers will realistically benefit from this.”

“If the minister is claiming the increase is across 2021-2027, does this include all of the funds used to roll over GLAS, BDGP and other schemes for this year and next?”

ANC and sheep and suckler supports

Under the CAP Strategic Plan moving forward, funding for the Areas of Natural Constraint Scheme (ANC) has remained at €250m/annum.

The Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme, which will replace the BDGP, will receive €260 million in funding.

“When BDGP was initially revealed in 2015, it was givena at an annual budget of €52 million. This means there is no real change here either.”

“Despite the Sheep Welfare Scheme originally being quoted as a €25 million scheme, it is being dropped to €100 million for five years.”

KT and organics

He acknowledged that there are increases evident for the organic farming sector and Knowledge Transfer initiatives.

“We must ensure that as part of these initiatives, the vast majority of money is dispensed to farmer participants rather than non-farming participants.”

The DAFM has set funding as part of the new Agri-Environment Climate Measure, GLAS’ replacement, at €300 million per year.

“As part of this scheme, 20,000 farmers are set to get paid at a higher rate than the remaining 30,000.”

CRISS and 85% convergence

He welcomed the DAFM’s decision to redistribute 10% of the value of the Pillar 1 budget to the CRISS.

Fitzmaurice also welcomed the move to continue with internal convergence to a level of 85%.

He called on the minister to clarify where the DAFM will spend €723 million of carbon tax funding.

“It seems as if the minister is doing his best to sugarcoat the announcement in an effort to appease farmers. In fact, the benefits might not be as great as farmers are being led to believe,” Fitzmaurice concluded.

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