Farmers to protest over CAP reforms

Commissioner for agriculture attending meetings in Dublin tomorrow

Farmers angry about planned reforms of the CAP being negotiated by Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney are planning to protest in Dublin tomorrow. Photograph:  Eric Luke / THE IRISH TIMES

Farmers angry about planned reforms of the CAP being negotiated by Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney are planning to protest in Dublin tomorrow. Photograph: Eric Luke / THE IRISH TIMES

 

Farmers angry at proposed reforms of the European Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) will descend on Dublin tomorrow to coincide with the visit of an influential EU Commissioner.

Commissioner for agriculture and rural affairs Dacian Ciolos will be attending a series of engagements in the capital.

The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) is planning a protest outside Dublin Castle.

The demonstration will come after more than a thousand farmers took part in an IFA picket outside the constituency office of Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney in Co Cork yesterday.

The association has warned that proposed CAP reforms could deliver a potentially “fatal blow” to the Irish agriculture sector.

They have insisted that the planned redistribution of EU subsidies to farmers would cause major damage to the industry.

A move to a per hectare flat rate payment system would potentially see payments cut to thousands of the most productive farmers, with an accompanying increase in support for those with farms in less productive areas.

IFA president John Bryan said the European Commission must provide Ireland with the flexibilities to address the “most damaging aspects” of the “deeply flawed” proposals.

Mr Coveney has insisted a reform of CAP is needed to make the system fairer for all farmers.