National President of the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) Colm O’Donnell has outlined some of the details for a plan to support Ireland's suckler cow sector.
INHFA is discussing this proposal with Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine officials. The plan to support our suckler sector, which will need state aid, will see payments front-loaded on the first 10 cows with a reduced payment for the next 15 cows, O' Donnell said.
O’Donnell stated, “Our proposal will if implemented, provide much-needed support to small and medium-sized suckler farmers who are the life-blood of the industry.”
To avail of this support, he continued “farmers will be rewarded for specific measures that they may be currently carrying out and given the option to undertake other measures.”
These measures he added “will revolve around public health, animal welfare, farm safety and environmental measures with the key focus being that all measures are practical and that the scheme is simple to understand and delivers for both the farmer and their stock.”
In addressing the two schemes that are currently there namely Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) and Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot (BEEP), the farmer’s leader stated: “how lessons need to be learnt from the failure of these schemes in terms of uptake and support which is why we need a new approach.”
In conclusion, he outlined how there is an urgency to get this scheme agreed and rolled out as soon as possible, adding that "farmers cannot be left waiting for support under the new CAP which may not be up and running until 2023.”