25 September 2008 Edition
Farm survey results unveiled at National Ploughing Championships
An analysis of the complete survey will be published later this year as part of the Oireachtas Agriculture and Fisheries report into the future of farming and fishing in the west of Ireland.
Martin Ferris said that the survey sought the views of farmers on whether their situation has improved or worsened since the introduction of the Single Farm Payment.
In addition, a number of other questions were asked including if farmers in the West believe they are disadvantaged in comparison with the rest of the state.
The initial findings of the survey for farmers attending marts in west Cork and Kerry show that, despite the optimism that surrounded the introduction of the Single Farm Payment as part of the 2003 CAP reform package, a large majority of those questioned felt that their situation has either gotten worse or has not changed with decoupling.
“The findings we have analysed to date may reflect the relative disadvantage of farmers in western regions and the fact that the historic-based payment reproduces existing income disparities. It would be interesting to see what a similar poll conducted on a wider basis revealed.”
Ferris said that Sinn Féin intends to put forward a series of proposals on what needs to be done to ensure the future viability of farming and fishing in the West.
“The proposals will reflect the demands of those from the sector with whom we have engaged with over recent months.
“Government must bring forward a strategy to ensure the future viability of farming in the West. This must include ensuring adequate farm incomes and proposals to develop potential growth areas within the farming and fishing sectors and measures to ensure that the economic return can be maximised for those involved in farming and fishing.
“Fostering indigenous business with an eye to the export market must become central to growing and developing the agri-food sector.”