Minister McConalogue’s duty of care must extend equally to ensure the sustainability of all farmers, whether from the Golden Vale or the top of the mountain, Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) president Colm O’Donnell has said.

The association has welcomed the appointment of the new Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue, following a convened virtual meeting of the association's national council.

O’Donnell said: “There is a huge sense of goodwill for both Minister McConalogue and his family, we wish him the very best on his appointment. We look forward to building a good working relationship with the Minister over the coming years."

Well aware

The INHFA has requested an early meeting with the Minister to present him with its pre-budget submission.

O’Donnell continued: “Minister McConalogue is well aware of the INHFA position on a number of issues, having attended numerous events held by the INHFA in his previous position as opposition spokesperson on agriculture."

These issues include:

  • Concerns surrounding the proposals in the EU biodiversity strategy to designate additional land.
  • The need to provide additional direct supports for suckler cows by way of a front-loaded welfare-type scheme.
  • Building on the success of the Sheep Welfare Scheme with increased payments.
  • The fairer redistribution of CAP payments.
  • Worries surrounding the proposed wording of GAEC 2 regarding appropriate protection of carbon-rich soils.
  • A well-funded environmental scheme that's tailored to the needs of different types of farming including all farmers currently without a scheme available to them.
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