ICMSA ask Minister McConalogue to clarify his call for a “robust” CAP Budget.

The President of ICMSA, Denis Drennan, has called on the Minister for Agriculture, Food & Marine, Charlie McConalogue, to clarify the latter’s call for a “robust” CAP Budget following the EU Farm Council meeting on Monday last.

At the Farm Council discussions on the ‘The Future of Agriculture in the EU’, Minister McConalogue had stated: “We must be ready to provide a robust CAP budget that will allow us to achieve our ambitions”. Mr Drennan said that while farmers would welcome the strong words, they would also want to know whether Minister McConalogue’ s statement meant that the Irish Government actually intended seeking a substantially increased CAP budget of the size required if farmers were to survive while meeting more and more regulations being imposed on them – or whether the Minister’s comments were just tokenism?

“Farmers are justifiably angry and hugely frustrated by the current policy agenda and lack of a reasonable return from the marketplace and inadequate EU supports – all driven, caused or unaddressed by both national and EU policies.   At this stage and in advance of the negotiations on the next CAP, it is only fair and reasonable that the Minister and the Government spell out clearly what their intentions are in relation to the CAP budget and schemes and actually outline – in figures – what they mean by ‘robust’.    Does the Government intend to support a substantially increased budget of the scale so clearly required, or they happy to accept a budget which has been declining over many years and which inflation has now undermined to the point where it is demonstrably unable to support farmers? Which is it and what does ‘robust’ mean?” asked Mr. Drennan.

The ICMSA President said that CAP has been completely underfunded – specifically since the introduction of decoupling – and the EU has a choice: to a deliver a significantly enhanced CAP budget and make a real difference in maintaining the family farm model of farming or continue the downsizing of CAP and accelerating the slide into irrelevance.  The Minister’s comment in relation to ‘robust’ does not provide the required clarity and ICMSA is calling on the Minister to confirm that Ireland will be seeking a substantially increased CAP in the next programming period of a scale that will actually provide real support to the farmers milking the cows, feeding the cattle and sheep and growing the crops, concluded Mr. Drennan.

 Ends         26 June 2024

Denis Drennan, 086-8389401

President, ICMSA.


Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758

ICMSA Press Office