Irish Government Highlights Priorities Arising In The CAP Health Check
Junior Agriculture Minister and Clare T.D., Mr. Tony Killeen said this week that the Government was making good progress on highlighting the main Irish priorities arising in the CAP Health Check with EU agriculture officials.
[ClickPress, Tue Oct 28 2008] The Clare T.D. commented after Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD met with the President of the Agriculture Council, Michel Barnier, and Agriculture Commissioner, Mariann Fischer Boel.
Minister Killeen said the trilateral meeting had allowed his Ministerial colleague to make known his key concerns regarding milk quotas and additional modulation. Minister Smith also called on the Commissioner to make adjustments to the butterfat calculations in order to facilitate the release of higher levels of quota in 2009.
He added, “In setting out his key priorities for the milk sector, Minister Smith stressed the need for a genuine ‘soft landing’, when milk quotas come to an end, accompanied by a predictable set of steps that would allow farmers and industry to plan for the future. Emphasising the need for progressive quota increases, he made a specific request that additional quota allocations for Ireland be front-loaded given Ireland’s capacity to progressively increase production.”
Minister of State Killeen said that the Department of Agriculture had also sought an increase in available EU funding for special sectoral measures to assist farmers.
He continued, “Many countries, including Ireland, cannot currently fully utilise the funding allocated for the single farm payment scheme because of the complex and restrictive rules governing the scheme. Minister Smith has therefore sought greater national discretion in the use of these funds. If agreed, this would effectively release these unspent funds and provide additional money for necessary measures to assist farmers.”
“The Department of Agriculture will continue to press these issues with the Commission over the coming weeks. I share Minister Smith’s confidence that we will have a successful conclusion to the Health Check review over the coming weeks,” Minister Killeen concluded.
Notes to Editor:
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