Almost 73,000 farmers, representing 60% of farmers, will gain through the full flattening of payments, the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) has insisted.

The INHFA said it is contesting the narrative that the current CAP reform proposals will undermine the income of Irish farmers.

At EU level, the European Parliament continues to push for 100% convergence.

INHFA president Colm O’Donnell said it was “unbelievable” that Brussels was more in touch with the needs of Irish farmers than many of the public and farming representatives in Ireland.

“Despite suggestions made by some, the current proposals will deliver for the vast majority of Irish farmers,” O’Donnell said.

A full flattening of farm entitlements would see all farmers paid the national average of €265/ha by 2026, assuming a flat rate payment for eco schemes.

In the new CAP, we must ensure this output is recognised in the same way that farming output is

Another proposal is to make front-loaded payments mandatory through a Complementary Redistributive Income Support for Sustainability (CRISS).

This allows Ireland to target additional payments on the first number of hectares, to support small holders.

To fund this, a country can put a limit on the maximum payment and apply a linear cut to all direct payments.


O’Donnell said the INHFA was supporting front-loaded payments and they could potentially increase the payments for farmers on the first 10ha to 20ha to over €300/ha.

On the increased environmental focus in the new CAP, O’Donnell stated that many farmers have not received proper recognition or reward on this front.

“It is vital that the delivery of public goods in terms of improved water and air quality, improved biodiversity and mitigating against climate change is remunerated in the upcoming CAP,” he said.

“The EU’s nature fitness check has established how our designated lands are delivering between €2bn and €3bn each year to our economy, which translates into almost €3,000/ha.

“In the new CAP, we must ensure this output is recognised in the same way that farming output is.”