Colm O’Donnell of the INHFA has reiterated his call for the full flattening of payments through 100% convergence.
“It is now time for the Minister to bite the bullet and get convergence done,” he remarked.
He said full convergence will help support all farmers and prove that support through the CAP is “not just for large commercial operations”.
In addition to this, he added, it will recognise the changing dynamic in the CAP process.
“A dynamic that pays farmers based on conditions under the GAEC’s and not from what was produced twenty years ago.”
“With these conditions the same for all farmers, then it is entirely reasonable that the payment rate per hectare is also the same.”
He is of the opinion the major disparity in Pillar 1 payments has undermined farmer solidarity and created miss-trust amongst farmers.
The farm leader believes this has “weakened our lobbying power and undermined the industry”.
When assessing the impact of 100% convergence, the INHFA leader outlined how this will deliver for 73,000 farmers or 60% of those in receipt of CAP payments.
This will provide invaluable support to many of our smaller family farm units that the CAP is designed to protect. In doing this, we will also support local business and the local community.”
In addressing the concerns of smaller farm units on higher payments, O’Donnell pointed to proposals in the CAP deal for a front-loaded option under the Complementary Redistributive Income Support for Sustainability (CRISS), which the INHFA supports.
This will allow member states to redirect payments from those in receipt of very high CAP payments (for example, €60,000 or above) to farmers such as these, by making additional payments to all farmers on the first number of hectares.”
“Additional funding for the CRISS will be sourced through a linear cut to Pillar 1 payments. The deal agreed on Friday provides for this with a 10% mandatory requirement.”
Concluding, the INHFA leader called on the minister to act in the best interest of Irish farmers and ensure full convergence is done through this CAP programme.