The Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue, today announced that the Government will make a contribution of €2.3 billion to the CAP Strategic Plan for 2023-2027. This funding will bring Pillar II spending to €3.86 billion and overall spending for the period to 9.8 billion.
Speaking at a press release today, the Minister said: “I am delighted to announce national funding of €2.30 billion for rural development interventions under the CAP Strategic Plan. When combined with EU funding, it will provide for a rural development package of some €3.86 billion. This funding will place farmers in a very strong position to address climate and environmental challenges while also supporting the economic viability of the agriculture sector and rural communities, while delivering significant public goods.”
Commenting on this additional funding An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, hailed it as evidence of the Government’s commitment to rural Ireland, and to farmers in particular. The Taoiseach also cited the announcement as the fulfilment of a promise, previously made by Government, that funds raised from the carbon tax would be reallocated to support farmers transitioning to greener and more environmentally-friendly food production.
While acknowledging the realities of human-induced climate change, farmers and farming groups have expressed fears that the transition to green agriculture will come at a high economic cost. Most may welcome the news of this additional funding, though farmers will surely be anxious to learn more about the nature of supports on the ground. Only time will tell whether funding supports will be sufficient to protect family farms from additional financial burden. Allocation of funding will surely be a particular cause of concern and contention moving forward.