Sinn Féin spokesperson on Agriculture, Matt Carthy TD, has called on the Minister for Agriculture to immediately publish the redrafted CAP Strategic Plan (CSP) he has submitted to the European Commission.
Deputy Carthy had previously been critical of the Minister’s refusal to provide for Oireachtas scrutiny and approval of the plan prior to its submission.
Teachta Carthy said:
“The Common Agriculture Policy is the single most important framework under which Irish farming and food production operate.
“Due to the failures of this government in EU budget negotiations, the next CAP will deliver fewer supports for farmers, at a time when they will be expected to do more.
“The recent debate on agriculture sectoral emission ceilings, and the corresponding failure of the Minister to date to outline how they will be met, shows the importance of getting the CAP Strategic Plan right.
“But the Minister has consistently refused to engage with the opposition on a plan that will have implications for a generation to come.
“The response of the European Commission to the Minister’s initial draft CAP Strategic Plan essentially amounted to a rebuke calling out a perceived lack of ambition for the agricultural sector.
“It was incredibly telling that two areas in particular where concerns were raised related to organics and forestry – two areas where Sinn Féin has challenged government on their consistent failure to hit soft targets.
“The resubmitted plan is another solo run on the part of the Minister.
“In light of the growing challenges facing Irish agriculture, and the need for a collaborative approach to protect our farming families, it is imperative that Minister McConalogue immediately publish his redrafted CAP Strategic Plan and agree to engage with farmers and opposition parties ahead of its implementation.”