Agriculture South Armagh

Magennis Urges DAERA Minister to Publish Future Agriculture Policy Proposals

Oonagh Magennis, Sinn Féin councillor for Slieve Gullion has echoed the calls of her party colleague, Declan McAleer, urging the Agriculture Minister to publish details of the new draft agriculture policy for public consultation

Councillor Magennis stated:

“Back in August the DAERA Minister published a future agricultural framework document outlining a vision for a new policy based around the broad themes of productivity, environmental sustainability, improved resilience and a responsive supply chain.   

“Whilst we are aware that a number of measures are proposed such as area based schemes, agri-environment schemes, generational renewal and a new headage scheme, the DAERA Minister needs to move swiftly to publish his policy proposals so that farmers can give their views on what these will mean for their businesses.    

“The new policy was supposed to open for consultation in the Autumn but it is now winter and we have not seen it yet. 

Oonagh continued “I am also deeply concerned about how the new policy will be funded given that we have been taken out of the EU.  The prospect of a separate, ring fenced annual £300m single farm payment budget which the EU previously provided is highly unlikely to be replaced by Westminster who have made no progress on the much hyped ‘UK Shared Prosperity Fund’ that was supposed to replace this lost EU funding.

“In addition to this, trade deals with Australia and New Zealand have the potential to fill the British market with cheap food, displacing our local produce off the supermarket shelves.   Given that Britain is our main market, the destination of almost 50% of local produce, this is another serious challenge for future policy, courtesy of Brexit. 

“I have met many farmers who have so many questions about the future of their entitlements, the shape of future farm support measures, and this uncertainty makes it incredibly difficult to plan ahead.  The Minister needs to publish his proposals without any further delay”.  


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