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Agriculture; Food and the Marine | Monitoring of agricultural production and exports

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the extent to which he continues to monitor the impact of the revised CAP on agriculture production and exports given that Ireland may be affected; if adequate steps are being taken to ensure the retention of the maximum number of family farms and shops, and that production is maximised to the greatest extent possible having particular regard to worldwide food shortages in the future; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Ireland’s new CAP Strategic Plan (CSP) will run from 2023 to 2027, and will support the development of the agriculture sector by helping to deliver viable incomes for farmers, while also helping them to produce food in an environmentally sustainable manner for our domestic and export markets.

The €9.8 billion Plan contains several specific objectives to achieve this, including the attainment of enhanced market orientation, increased farm competitiveness and an improvement in Irish farmers’ position in the value chain.

This is well-funded and farmer-friendly CAP aimed at supporting our families.  

Several CSP interventions are targeted at the provision of financial supports to farmers, including direct payments under Pillar I of the CAP and investment supports to help improve competitiveness under the On-Farm Capital Investment Scheme.

These will be complemented by initiatives that will aid the sustainable development of rural communities. Support is, for example, available through the new ACRES agri-environmental programme and the €180m LEADER programme operated by the Department of Rural and Community Development. The latter programme will continue to play a vital role in supporting small food producers and vibrant rural communities.  

Regarding worldwide food shortages arising from global events, I have been discussing the impact of these events on food security, and on agricultural supply chains, on a regular basis with both my Member State counterparts at the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council, and with stakeholders here at home. Food security has never been as important and Ireland is well-placed to play a leadership role.

In response to the Ukraine crisis, I established a Rapid Response Team within my Department to actively monitor the impacts on agri-food supply chains and to contribute to the whole of Government response.

I also established the National Fodder and Food Security Committee and tasked it with the preparation of a response to the emerging crisis in feed, fodder, fertiliser and other inputs, and with the development of contingency plans and advice to assist farmers in managing their farm enterprises.

Since the invasion of Ukraine started, I have introduced several measures to assist the agri-food sector, including:

  • €56 million Fodder Support Scheme
  • €20 million in two packages for the pig sector,
  • €12 million for the tillage sector

These targeted measures will help Irish farmers at a time of escalating costs, and will help to build resilience against the impacts of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

I continue to closely monitor the situation to how best we can support our farm families.

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