Commissioner Ciolos’ visit raises key issues for future of agricultural sector – Deering

20th January, 2012

Carlow Fine Gael TD, Pat Deering, has welcomed the EU Agricultural Commissioner, Mr Dacian Ciolos, to the Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture and put a number of pertinent questions to him regarding CAP and other key issues facing Irish agriculture.

“It is very encouraging to see Commissioner Ciolos taking such a keen interest in Ireland’s agricultural and rural agenda, while actively engaging with Irish farmers and public representatives during his visit to Ireland.

“I raised a number of matters with the Commissioner, including the importance of re-establishing a sugar beet industry in Ireland, capping of payments, and the effect of rented land prices for the next three years and what will happen afterwards.

“Regarding the future CAP post 2013, I welcome the Commissioner’s commitment to engage in constructive negotiations with Minister Coveney and the Irish Government in seeking to achieve a workable and fair programme for Irish farmers. Minister Coveney reiterated that he would drive a hard bargain in the negotiations regarding the proposed reference year for farm payments in 2014.

“The final stages of the CAP negotiations will take place during Ireland’s Presidency of the Council of the EU in 2013, and Ireland will be in a very unique position to influence the finalities of the next programme.

“There also needs to be greater flexibility at member state level regarding the allocation of funds to individual farmers. Ireland cannot accept a flat rate payment as this would involve massive transfers from productivity at a time when we need to increase to meet our 2012 targets.”