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Dublin: 7 °C Sunday 17 November, 2019
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Farmers hold 'Day of Action' to secure EU agricultural funding

Over 10,000 farmers are expected at a demonstration against possible cuts to the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy.

IFA president John Bryan says action is needed to stop the EU budget for being slashed, a move which would hamper agricultural funding.
IFA president John Bryan says action is needed to stop the EU budget for being slashed, a move which would hamper agricultural funding.
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

OVER 10,000 FARMERS are expected to converge on Dublin today as part of a demonstration against possible cuts to the EU’s agriculture budget in the coming weeks.

The Irish Farmers Association says a demonstration of farmers’ views is needed in order to underline the economic impact that any major cut to the Common Agricultural Policy would have on the Irish economy.

The association says farm incomes and profits were seriously eroded this year by poor weather and increasing input costs, with the costs of animal feed, fuel and fertiliser all having increased.

The decreasing marginal profits from running farms, it says, means farmers are increasingly dependant on funding through the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy.

This funding could be one of the main casualties from the current negotiations on the EU’s next seven-year Budget, from 2014 to 2020, which are due to step up in the coming weeks.

The current state of the EU’s finances has led some countries – most notably the UK – to call for cuts of up to 30 per cent in the EU’s operating budget, a move IFA president John Bryan requires other countries to join forces and resist such major cuts.

Any major cut to CAP funding, the union says, could have a negative impact on the €9 billion of exports from the agricultural sector, or the 300,000 Irish jobs which are reliant on the sector.

The IFA says farming schemes were disproportionately hit in the 2012 Budget, and is demanding the retention of the current €1.25 billion funding for the Single Farm Payment and €350 million in rural development measures in the next EU budget.

Read: CAP payments to be published again after privacy case

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Gavan Reilly

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