Farm figures show reliance on subsidies


EU AND State subsidies accounted for more than 91 per cent of farmers’ operating surplus or earnings in the Border, midland and western regions last year, and in the midlands net subsidies accounted for 105.4 per cent of farmers’ surplus.

Figures published by the Central Statistics Office yesterday showed farmers there received €830.6 million in subsidies in 2007 and their earnings were just €911.8 million.

But in the midland counties of Laois, Longford, Offaly and Westmeath, subsidies accounted for €191.4 million and farm earnings were €181.5 million, leaving the subsidies at 105.4 per cent of operating surplus.

The CSO figures showed that nationally, net subsidies accounted for 71 per cent of agricultural operating surplus but reliance on these were lower in the south and east of the State.

Statewide, €1.843.2 million was paid in subsidies and agricultural income (operating surplus) came to €2,596.8 million.

In the mideast and Dublin subsidies of €154.4 million were paid and income was €217.1 million, giving a 71.1 per cent ratio.

The ratio was 58.7 per cent in the southeast where €312 million was paid in subsidies and €531.6 million was earned.

The release showed that from 2005-2007, more than three-quarters of the milk output in the State came from the southern and eastern regions and almost one-third of the national milk was produced in the southwest.