ICMSA say clarity required “immediately” on 2021 CAP payments

The President of ICMSA has said that clarity is required immediately from both the EU and the Irish Government on the question of whether payments under all farm schemes will be at least maintained at current levels in 2021. Pat McCormack said this confirmation will provide farmers with a level of confidence on at least one aspect of their business.

Mr. McCormack said that so much uncertainty and confusion applies now that if it is possible to bring certainty to any situation then that must happen.

“The level of uncertainty faced by farm businesses at present is unprecedented with sharp reductions in output prices due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the ongoing Brexit uncertainty – which is likely to come to a head at the end of this year – the launch of strategies at EU level with little or no regard for the economic sustainability of farmers and still no certainty surrounding the future of farm payments post 2020. Farmers accept that many of these issues are outside the control of our Government and the EU. But the level and types of payments that will be available under CAP in 2021 is absolutely within their control and it’s well past the time that they brought clarity and certainty to this issue”, said Mr. McCormack.  

The ICMSA President said that there is a global recession due to the Covid-19 pandemic and stimulating investment will be key to the recovery. He said that the farming community will be central to any recovery in rural communities but they must be given a level of confidence to invest in their businesses – and it is impossible to have that confidence where farmers do not know what’s happening with CAP next year.

“Direct payments represent a hugely important part of all farmers’ incomes and yet, here we are, just over six months from 2021and farmers still do not know what payments they will be entitled to and at what level.  This is clearly unacceptable and if the EU and our Government is serious about stimulating a recovery, then a first step would be to announce that all payments in 2021 under both Pillar 1 and Pillar 2 will be at the same levels as 2020 and this should be announced immediately”, said the ICMSA President.

“Farmers are dealing with enough uncertainty at present and an early announcement on maintaining 2021 payments on current levels would provide farmers with one certainty and would help stimulate the investment on farms that so benefits the wider rural economy. For goodness sake, let’s be certain where we can be certain and 2021 CAP payments is one issue where we must have certainty immediately” concluded Mr. McCormack.

Ends         27 May 2020

Pat McCormack, 087-7608958

President, ICMSA.

Or

Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758

ICMSA Press Office