Browne says Coveney needs to negotiate a better deal for farmers
Wexford Deputy John Browne has said the Beef and Genomics Programme represents a bad deal for farmers in the south east. Deputy Browne has called on Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to go back to Brussels to seek a better programme for farmers.
'I have serious concerns over the current structuring of the Beef Data and Genomics Programme. It has serious implications for productive farmers in Wexford, many who have told me that the scheme is unworkable and needs to be changed,' said the deputy.
'Farmers continue to highlight that the scheme is over-complicated and will impose excessive costs on participants. The conditions attached to the scheme are turning away potential applicants. The Minister has put in place a rule that will bar any new applicants to the scheme following the close of applications, even if desirable changes are made to the scheme in the future.'
Deputy Browne said Minister Coveney has also put in place draconian rules that will see all payments made over the lifetime of the programme clawed back should farmers withdraw from the scheme.
'This is totally unreasonable and will have a negative impact on farmers who are forced to withdraw from the scheme due a change in their personal circumstances.
'Farmers should also be allowed apply to the scheme based on the size of their suckler cow herd in 2015. Limiting the scheme based on the number of cows calved in 2014 is restrictive and places an unnecessary limit on those who want to expand their herd size.'