Fianna Fáil Seanad Spokesperson on Agriculture, Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill, says a fully funded and equal CAP programme is essential for Donegal farmers.

Senator Ó Domhnaill was speaking after a sizeable meeting on CAP reform was held in Dunfanaghy, Donegal last night, attended by almost 200 people.

“The meeting was very constructive and there were quality contributions from many farmers who are genuinely very concerned with the implications of the CAP reform,” said Senator Ó Domhnaill.

“The farmers were informed of the different proposals that have been put forward for CAP reform from the Minister for Agriculture and the EU. The feeling coming from the meeting was that there should be a fair and equitable distribution of CAP for all farmers.

“Fianna Fáil believes that farmers should not be unfairly penalised for living in an area of poor land and the Minister should take this into consideration in the CAP negotiations. I am totally opposed to the idea that there would be land abandonment in marginal land areas due to the low return from the land, this would lead to an ecological disaster in some of the most ecologically sensitive areas in the country. It is important that CAP negotiations go well for Irish farmers as agriculture is crucial for the economic recovery of Ireland.

“We must make agriculture attractive to the next generation and a package of measures should be introduced to encourage and help young people take up farming. 70% of farmers receive less than 10,000 in Single Farm Payments and it is essential that smaller farmers are not penalised in order to protect the 2% of farmers who are in receipt of 12% of the payment.

“We need a better deal for smaller farmers in Donegal and I will continue with meetings throughout the county to gauge the view of farmers. The next meeting will be held at the Highland Hotel in the Glenties on November 29th where party Spokesperson on Agriculture, Éamon Ó Cuív will be the guest speaker.”