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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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‘Too many directives from Brussels are targeting farmers as the problem’

It is “inescapable” that both the government and Brussels must face up to the cost inflation crisis, Dermot Kelleher, ICSA president told the farm organisation’s AGM last week.

He highlighted at the meeting that partners in Farm Europe have estimated that the real value of the CAP budget will shrink by an aggregate €85 billion in the period 21-27.

When the CAP budget was agreed, he told the meeting, it was on the expectation that inflation would be 2%.

Kelleher commented: “Farm Europe analysis estimates that the CAP will be worth one-third less in real terms in 2027 compared to 2020.”

“There is a review of the EU budget in 2023, and this is the time for Ireland to argue for a complete re-calculation,” he added.

On the back of this, he called on the Irish government to support a “substantial” revamp in CAP funding.

Moreover, Kelleher urged Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, to “lead a return to rational policies”.

“We all support making farming more sustainable and enhancing biodiversity.”

Farm payments

Kelleher stated that he has spent the last ten years campaigning against the cuts to Pillar One payments for people with marginal land and has been a “passionate” advocate to allow people full basic payments on land that is already biodiverse.

He continued: “Progress has been made in the new CAP. But you must admit that the red-lining of land parcels under the LPIS review in 2013 was not the fault of farmers but of policymakers where the left hand did not know what the right hand was trying to achieve.”

He told the minister that if DAFM helps farmers in the “right” way, farmers will deliver on biodiversity, water quality and climate and in light of this, the minister “must find a way” to ensure that all ACRES applicants are accepted.

Kelleher stated that “from an ICSA viewpoint, too much legislation, too many directives from Brussels, too many policies are targeting farmers as the problem, not the solution”.

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