Farmers plan to take to the streets of Dublin on Tuesday 9 October as part of a major 'day of action' to demand government support for farming and the rural economy.
The aim of the event is to highlight the escalating cost/price squeeze on farm incomes and to send a clear message to the government on the need to defend the full CAP budget in Europe and retain national funding for farm schemes.
The IFA is expecting to mobilise thousands of farmers for the event and is seeking support from agri-business. Farmers will be asked to refrain from selling produce for one day to demonstrate the importance of farming to the rural economy.
The day of action was unanimously agreed at Tuesday's meeting of the IFA executive council. Delegates expressed extreme frustration with Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney for repeatedly 'talking up' the sector while failing to deliver long promised schemes such as the Agri-Environment Options Scheme (AEOS) or a commitment on a new Suckler Cow Welfare Scheme.
There was a strong view that the productive sectors of the economy have taken an unfair share of the budget cuts while other areas remain protected.
The event comes as the negotiations on the next seven-year CAP programme enter a crucial stage. The overall EU budget is set to be agreed between November and early next year, while Ireland's presidency of the EU Council of Ministers is expected to deliver a CAP agreement by June.
IFA president John Bryan said: "The negotiations on the CAP post-2013 are up for decision soon and the EU budget is under threat. The Irish government must retain 100% of Ireland's national envelope from Europe so that the Single Farm Payment and rural development measures are maintained."
He added: "Previous cuts to farm schemes have been totally disproportionate and are now hitting the lowest income sector of agriculture hard. Farmers are sending a message to Minister Coveney that he cannot cut the schemes any further."
He said farm families are already finding it extremely difficult to cope with the extra costs and taxes imposed on them, which are negatively affecting the private productive sector.
He said: "The consequences of the disastrous summer and escalating input costs has put massive pressure on farm incomes and the government has failed totally in its promise to farmers to address the dominance of the retail multiples through effective regulation."
Source: Argentine Beef Packers S.A.
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