Updated: 03/05/17 : 05:57:35
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IFA submission to CAP consultation identifies low incomes

IFA’s submission to the CAP consultation has identified low farm incomes in many sectors as a challenge to the sustainability of farming enterprises, and a barrier to new entrants.

IFA President Joe Healy said the CAP post-2020 must target an overall improvement in farm income levels through direct support; targeted measures for investment and efficiency; generational renewal; and the strengthening of farmers’ position in the food supply chain.

IFA Chief Economist Rowena Dwyer said the modernisation and simplification of the CAP is essential.

She said, “While previous reforms have aspired to simplification, the reality is that the CAP has become much more complicated and bureaucractic at farm level. The current policy on the inspection and audit process, land eligibility, cross compliance requirements and sanctions must be reformed and simplified”.

In the context of Brexit, the IFA submission says a strong CAP Budget is critical for farm incomes, farm output and wider economic activity. “The EU Commission has acknowledged that agricultural prices have fallen since the last CAP reform, mainly due to macroeconomic factors and geopolitical decisions. To meet these challenges, the CAP Budget must be increased in the next reform.”

The EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan will hold a conference on July 7th, at which he will present the findings of the consultation. A White Paper on the future of the CAP will be published by the end of 2017, with legislative proposals expected in early 2018.