Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has said the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) deal that was signed off on by Agriculture Ministers across the EU is “a balanced CAP”.
The Minister said it was the best agreement that could have been achieved after many months of really hard work and negotiation.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Drivetime, he disagreed with claims made by the ICMSA that he has made farming less viable by accepting this €387 billion deal.
Charlie McConalogue said the budget is agreed for the next few years and what is at stake now is how it is distributed at a national level.
He said one element of this deal will mean an averaging out of farm incomes.
The Minister added he was confident that this deal has secured the flexibility required to make some of our key decisions at a national level and also security of farm incomes over the next seven years.
The maximum flexibility possible was achieved after much negotiation, he added.
Mr McConalogue said farmers in Ireland can provide world class, safe food as well as reducing the carbon footprint of that food we produce.
Over the next few months, he said there will be challenging debate and conversation with all farmers around the country, which he will lead, to finalise our national CAP plan that will involve schemes that will deliver in terms of farmers’ incomes, produce high quality safe food and deliver for the environment as well.