Clare farmers don’t believe the beef, dairy and sheep industries will be viable here for further generations under current funding and climate proposals.
Members of the Clare IFA have been marching in Ennis this morning, as part of planned rallies from the association across the country.
The rally, which began at Clare Marts on Ennis’ Quin Road this morning, was one of 29 such demonstrations from IFA members nationwide.
Farmers say they’ve held the marches – the first of their kind since the beginning of the pandemic – for two reasons.
The first are ongoing negotiations for the latest round of Common Agricultural Policy, also known as CAP funding at European level – the IFA is concerned about so-called ‘eco schemes’ on each farmer’s basic payment from the EU, while fears have also been expressed about convergence, or how smaller farms can be balanced with larger ones in terms of balances of payments.
Members were also demonstrating against the government’s Climate Action Bill – which is currently going through the Oireachtas – amid concerns farmers aren’t being acknowledged on helping remove rates of carbon in the atmosphere.
Clare IFA Chair and Ardnacrusha farmer Tom Lane, who led the rally in this county, believes current proposals have negative ramifications for more than just the agricultural sector.
The EU’s total budget set aside for the next CAP cycle is 270 billion euro – a bigger sum than ever before.
However, farmers in this county want separate budgets for both agriculture and the environment.
Forest farmer Martin Murphy from Kilmihil made the trip to Ennis for today’s rally – and he believes those in the agriculture industry here are getting the short end of the stick.
Some farmers here don’t believe the sector will be viable for future generations if current CAP proposals are passed and the Climate Action Bill is implemented.
A recent Teagasc National Farm Survey suggested only one third of farmers are Ireland are financially workable.
Beef farmer Jim Enright from Cratloe says that unless more money is put into farmers’ pockets, agricultural industries in Clare and elsewhere will continue to shrink.
CAP negotiations are to continue in Europe throughout the next number of weeks with an agreement expected by the end of the month, while the Climate Action Bill is to progress to report stage in the Oireachtas.