Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, must consider full convergence for Irish farmers.
That is the view of the Irish Beef and Lamb Association (IBLA). It has called on the minister to make the move to “bring about fairness and parity to as many farmers as possible”.
The farm group referenced data that the minister provided to Deputy Michael Healy-Rae last month.
The independent TD asked the minister to provide the number and percentage of farmers in each county who will “be better off” with a 100% convergence option versus the 85% convergence option he proposes under the next CAP.
According to Minister Charlie McConalogue, over 71,000 or 58.53% of farmers will benefit from 100% convergence.
Member States must ensure that, by 2026, all payment entitlements reach a minimum convergence level of 85%.
In a statement on Monday, December 13th, 2021, an IBLA spokesperson said:
“Farmers are very much reliant on grants to keep their farms and their families supported.”
“In brief, many farmers will be better off if 100% convergence is applied to their entitlement values under the next round of CAP.”
“The counties with poorer land quality will benefit the most if 100% convergence is applied.”
“In particular, these counties include Donegal, Kerry, Leitrim, Mayo, Clare, Sligo, Limerick, Galway, Longford, Cavan, Roscommon, Dublin, Offaly, Wicklow & Westmeath.”
“One point to note is that a large percentage of farmers in Monaghan, Tipperary, Meath, Louth, Cork, Kildare and Laois stand to benefit from 100% convergence as well. “
“In fact, almost half the farmers in these counties will be better off with a convergence rate of 100%.”
“Even more so, in light of 19 of our EU counterparts already having adapted this policy for farmers in these 19 nations.”
“It is no longer acceptable to base farm grant aid on a historical reference period of almost twenty years ago.”
Concluding, the farm group said all farmers deserve a “fair crack of the whip” during this next round of CAP.
See a table outlining the number of farmers that would be better off with 100% convergence.