Assembly Committee attends Oireachtas meeting on CAP Reform

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 24 January 2012

Reference: AGR 10/11/12

Reforming the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) continued to be top of the agenda for the Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development when Members attended a meeting on the issue in Dublin last week.

Members of the Committee heard from Dacien Ciolos, the European Commissioner for Agriculture and from the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Communications, Natural Resources and Agriculture on the issue of CAP Reform.  

Speaking after the meeting, Committee Chairperson, Paul Frew MLA said: “We welcomed the opportunity to attend the presentation made by Mr Ciolos and used the visit to continue discussions on CAP reform with the Oireachtas Committee. CAP reform is likely to be finalised during Ireland’s forthcoming presidency of the EU, and therefore it can only be beneficial to the agriculture industry in Northern Ireland that we share common concerns regarding key policy areas with our counterparts in Dublin.”

The Committee Deputy Chairperson, Dolores Kelly MLA added: “While sharing common concerns with the Republic of Ireland is positive, one of the key issues within CAP Reform is the practice of letting agricultural land for farming – known as conacre letting[1].  This is unique to Northern Ireland and affects approximately a third of agricultural land here.  Our Committee will strive to have this matter recognised and addressed within the new CAP arrangements, along with the reassurance that financial support will be available to encourage the growth of our agri-sectors.” 

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