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We Need €20 Per Ewe Payment, Demand Irish Farmers

08 October 2015

IRELAND – Higher levels of direct payments should be coupled to active sheep farmers, farm chiefs have told an agriculture committee this week.

Higher funding, to come from the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy, is needed to maintain a strong sheep industry that supports and maintains Ireland’s rural economy, the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture heard on Wednesday afternoon.

For this reason, targeted payments of €20/ewe are required.

Delivering the message, IFA sheep committee chairman, John Lynskey, underlined IFA demands placed on Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney to secure €25 million direct payment.

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IFA leaders met to secure funding for sheep farmers on Tuesday

He said a ‘multiplier’ effect, as shown by 2013 University College Dublin study, increases every €1 of sheep farm output to an additional €1.33 generated for the wider Irish economy, as well as being ‘very important’ for the 34,000 sheep farmers involved and export earnings of around €220 million.

IFA President, Eddie Downey, said a Rural Development Programme budget of €580 million, when combined with national funds, should offer sheep farmers ‘the best deal possible’.

“Sheep farmers are entitled to their fair share and access to these funds and schemes,” said Mr Downey. “IFA worked hard to secure funds for the RDP. New schemes are being rolled out though GLAS, Knowledge Transfer, Beef Genomics and The Agriculture Modernisation Scheme two”.

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