Fianna Fáil will host a public meeting on CAP reform in Bantry next week, where farmers will be consulted about their views in advance of crucial negotiations on the policy. The meeting will take place next Tuesday, 29th January at the Westlodge Hotel in Bantry at 8pm. Representatives of all the different farming organisations have also been invited to the meeting. Fianna Fáil Agriculture Spokesperson, Éamon Ó Cuív TD, and local Senator Denis O’Donovan will host the meeting to gauge opinion on CAP reform. There will also be discussion on the future of the family farm and other issues affecting rural people. “There is a need for an open debate on the various proposals put forward in relation to CAP reform. Many farmers are still unaware of the alternatives and we will meet with farmers to inform them of the proposals while also seeking their input into the process,” said Deputy Ó Cuív. “There are a lot of tough negotiations to come on CAP and we need the Minister for Agriculture to fight for Ireland to ensure we get a fair share of the funding.” Senator O’Donovan added: “We must make agriculture attractive to the next generation and a package of measures should be introduced to encourage and help young people take up farming. 70% of farmers receive less than €10,000 in Single Farm Payments and it is essential there is an effort to balance this out and make the distribution of the payment fairer. “Farmers will be informed of the different proposals that have been put forward for CAP reform by the Minister for Agriculture and the EU at the meeting next week. “Ordinary farmers in Cork and throughout the country should have an input in the direction that future policies should take. We will be seeking to get as good a consensus as possible for a way forward that will be good for the vast majority of Irish farmers and for Irish agriculture. “Issues like the closure of rural banks, post offices and Garda stations will also be up for discussion at the meeting,” Senator O’Donovan concluded.
22nd January, 2013