Raft of changes to CAP ‘to make farmers’ lives easier’

A simpler CAP is the aim of a raft of EU changes which came into force this week.

It followed the adoption by the Council of Agriculture Ministers and the European Parliament of the agriculture and rural development part of the so-called omnibus regulation.

It aims for more flexible and less bureaucratic rules and on improving environmental actions and supports for farmers.

Phil Hogan, the agriculture commissioner, said the changes will make the lives of farmers and other CAP beneficiaries easier. Stronger support for farmers in the food supply chain is one of the key improvements. The new rules include value-sharing clauses in every product sector, and giving farmers the right to ask for a written contracts, unless trading with SMEs.

The changes also feature simpler risk management tools, including improvements to insurance schemes to allow compensation for up to 70% for farmers whose production or income is cut by at least 20%.

Clauses also allow the commission to act rapidly to address market failures and target incentives for young farmers.

Meanwhile, the Government said it has no intention of ending the practice of cutting turf for domestic use, but is committed to ensuring the law is upheld in protecting nature. Josepha Madigan, Minister of State for Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht, who gave the assurance in a written Dáil reply to Limerick Fine Gael TD Tom Neville, said Irish Rural Link will start to liaise with households and a pilot scheme starts this month.

Separately, over 45,000 registered sheep and goat keepers countrywide were legally obliged to complete a census form for their animals last Sunday.

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