Fine Gael TD for Cavan and Monaghan, Deputy Joe O’Reilly, has today, 15th January, welcomed the news that €12.5 billion in funding for the Agricultural Sector and heralded it as a strong sign of confidence in our Agri-Sector.

Speaking after the announcement was made by Minster Coveney, the Deputy said ‘In addition to the €8.5 billion in EU funding, that will be paid in direct payments to farmers in the period up to 2020, a further €2.2 billion has now been secured specifically for rural development. When we take into account that we have already seen a plethora of investments into this sector, from commercial companies, and that the value of agri-food exports rose significantly last year, today is a momentous day for Agriculture in Ireland.’

Commenting further on today’s announcement, the Deputy said ‘Through strong and intensive negotiations on CAP Reform, Minister Coveney has managed to ensure that the Direct Payments system will now be fairer and more impartial ,while at the same time ensuring that the level of redistribution of payments will not have an adverse effect on our Food Harvest 2020 objectives. For Young Farmers, there is very welcome news; the full 2% of the national ceiling will be allocated to them, providing for a 25% ‘top-up’ on direct payments on up to 50 ha, for farmers under 40 years of age and an additional assurance that young farmers will be prioritised in the allocation of payment entitlements from the national reserve.’
‘Under the new Rural Development Programme, details of which are yet to be finalised, we are hearing about the introduction of a new agri-environment scheme (GLAS), which will build on the progress made under REPS and AEOS. Under this new scheme, it is proposed that a maximum payment of €5,000 will be made available for up to 50,000 farmers and a further payment of up to €2,000 for a limited number of farmers who take on particularly challenging actions’ explained the Deputy.

The Dairy and Beef Sectors will benefit greatly from today’s announcement, with a host of new incentives and supports set to be introduced. ‘For the Dairy Sector, a firm commitment has been made, through the Rural Development Programme, to support the expansion, following the abolition of milk quotas in 2015. There will be support for capital investment for dairy equipment, targeted advisory service on animal health and welfare. The Rural Development Programme also brings good news for Beef Farmers, with the introduction of a new €52 million beef data and genomics programme, resulting in a payment of €80 per calf for qualifying entrants’ stated the Deputy.

‘Food Harvest 2020 focuses on the need to achieve smart, green growth and we as a country, need to find new and innovative ways to become more efficient and competitive. The measures outlined in the Rural Development Programme are all designed to help our Agricultural sector to grow in a sustainable and environmentally conscious way. Today is a very good news day for all farmers and I would like to congratulate Minister Coveney and Minster of State, Tom Hayes, on the excellent work that they have done in bringing about today’s good news’ concluded Deputy O’Reilly


Senator Joe O'Reilly representing Cavan & Monaghan 2010. | An ExSite website