A protest will be staged in Mayo at 11 am tomorrow morning Friday, June 11 as part of a nationwide IFA-organised demonstration to to highlight the importance of commercial farming to the rural economy.
It will be the first large scale demonstration by the IFA since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020.
Farmers will gather in towns across the country to warn against the dangers in the current CAP proposals and the Climate Action Bill.
The Mayo event will take place in Ballina, commencing at Ballina Mart at 11 am and proceeding through the town to the constituency office of local TD, Deputy Dara Calleary on Pearse St.
The farming and food sector employs 300,000 people across the country and contributed €13bn in exports in 2020.
“The towns that we will visit on Friday rely heavily on our sector. Any reduction in activity in agriculture will hit them hard,” warned IFA President Tim Cullinan who met An Taoiseach, Michael Martin, last week and warned him that the current direction of the CAP and the Government’s Climate Action Bill could shut down commercial farming in Ireland.
“We will be making a strong statement across the country on Friday that policies must support our largest indigenous industry,” Mr Cullinan said.
“A cohort of farmers, many of who are the most productive farmers, are being hit with huge cuts under the CAP. In addition, the Climate Bill, the subsequent carbon budgets and sectoral targets could result in huge additional regulation being imposed on the same group of farmers.”
He continued that the fact that farms sequester carbon has to be fully factored into the calculation of carbon budgets and sectoral targets.
“We will not accept any attempt to remove credits from our sector,” he stressed.
According to the Teagasc National Farm survey, only one-third of farmers in Ireland are viable.
“The EU and our own Government policies are targeting these farmers and will make them unviable,” Mr Cullinan said.
“The Programme for Government and the Climate Bill refers to taking account of the distinct characteristics of biogenic methane in setting climate budgets. Yet it appears that the Government now want to walk away from this commitment.
“Farmers want to work with the Government on climate action, but there has to be real engagement. Setting targets without any regard for the consequences won’t work,” he concluded.