At a high level meeting with senior Rural Development officials from DG Agri in Brussels last week, IFA National Sheep committee chairman, John Lynskey, said the Commission were clear that the current CAP Regulations could accommodate a specific targeted payment for sheep, provided there was a willingness at member state level to develop such a measure.
John Lynskey said he was encouraged by the flexible approach of the Commission and added that with a strong proposal from a member state, there was real potential to do something positive and specific for the sheep sector from either Pillar I or Pillar II of the CAP.
“IFA undertook a strong campaign for €20 per ewe and it is clear that the new minister and Government will have to address this issue.”
The IFA Sheep chairman said the Commission also gave assurances that the amendments to Ireland’s Rural Development Plan can be accommodated without further delay and this in turn should quickly clear the way for grant aid on sheep fencing to be made available to flock owners.
John Lynskey said it was very clear from the recent general election that the next Government and Minister for Agriculture must seriously focus on the sheep sector and address the need for a strong targeted sheep payment. He said “IFA undertook a strong campaign for €20 per ewe and it is clear that the new minister and Government will have to address this issue”.