MINISTER MUST FACE UP TO DEALING WITH ‘FORGOTTEN FARMERS’

Farmers in this category must be brought up to the national average payment: ISCA President

Sligo News File Online

ICSA President, Patrick Kent
ICSA President, Patrick Kent

ICSA president Patrick Kent, speaking after the association attended the Joint Oireachtas  Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine, said the Minister and his department must face up to dealing with the ‘forgotten farmers’.

“While we acknowledge the progress that has been made in the case of the ‘old’ young farmers, there is still a cohort of farmers who commenced their farming activity too late to benefit from the 2000-2002 reference period, but are now considered to be too long farming to get a fair opportunity under the new Basic Payment Scheme, said Mr. Kent.

“ICSA maintains that the farmers in this category must be brought up to the national average payment per hectare which, with the greening top-up, is about €250/ha – a very modest demand for hard working young farmers.

“We cannot complain about the age structure of the industry if we allow a hard core of younger farmers to be left behind,” continued Mr. Kent.

“We want to emphasise that ICSA has met with many farmers in this category and in all cases, one can only be impressed with the hard work, the courage and the determination shown to make a go of farming.”