Navigation path

The CAP in Ireland

Farmer with cropsThe CAP has been through a number of reforms since it was first established as a key component of European Union policy.

Talks on the latest reform began in 2010 and an agreement on CAP 2014-2020 between all EU Member States was achieved during Ireland’s presidency of the EU in 2013.

The current policy builds on previous CAP agreements and responds to new challenges facing the sector, many of which are driven by factors external to agriculture.

Europe’s modern agri-food sector and rural communities now have to overcome new economic, environmental and territorial problems and CAP 2014-2020 aims to do just that.

Challenges presented by uncertainty around food security, climate change, threats to habitats and biodiversity and rural area depopulation have to be overcome.

To achieve these long-term goals, previous CAP instruments had to be adjusted so that agriculture can produce higher levels of safe and quality food, while preserving the natural resources it depends on.

The CAP post-2013

Here’s a summary of how the CAP 2014-2020 will benefit Ireland

1. CAP Budget

The EU budget set aside for the CAP is divided into two pillars. Basically, Pillar I provides funding to support production and Pillar II provides financial support for rural development. The total budget for 2014-2020 amounts to €362.787 billion of which €277.851 billion is for Pillar I and €84.936 billion for Pillar II.

The CAP will invest almost €11 billion in the Irish farming sector and rural areas for the period up to 2020. Ireland has flexibility to adapt both direct payments and rural development programmes to its specific needs

2. Direct Payments

The latest direct payments arrangements mean funding is distributed in a fairer way between regions and farmers, putting an end to 'historical references'. The €8.8 billion available for direct payments in Ireland will remain stable, despite a reduction of 3.2% at EU level.

Only farmers currently active benefit from income-support schemes and young farmers are strongly encouraged to set up in business. Irish farmers are being encouraged and supported to take simple, proven measures to promote sustainability and combat climate change.

A total of 30% of direct payments are linked to environmentally-friendly farming practices such as crop diversification, maintaining permanent grassland and conserving 5% of areas of ecological interest.

3. Food supply

Farmers have new dedicated instruments designed to help them improve the balance of the food supply chain in Ireland. That means they can be better organised to market their products more efficiently. The latest CAP will improve market orientation thanks to the abolition of remaining production constraints like sugar quotas in 2017 and milk quotas in 2015.

4. Rural development

Ireland has been allocated €2.2 billion from the CAP budget that will go towards measures that will benefit rural areas. The funding will be prioritised for projects that focus on a objectives such as promoting a low carbon economy, tackling climate change and protecting the environment. Projects that improve competitiveness of the agricultural sector and create conditions for the economic and social regeneration of rural areas will also benefit from funding.

5. Partnership agreement

The European Commission has a partnership agreement with Ireland that will benefit Irish farmers and rural communities. The agreement sees Ireland receiving €3.357 billion in total European Structural and Investment funding over 2014-2020.

The EU investment is targeted at tackling unemployment and boosting competitiveness and economic growth.

Around €2.19 billion of the funding is allocated for development of the agricultural sector and rural areas from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).


The new greening architecture of the CAP

Rural Development Projects Supported by CAP

Here are three examples of how the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) has helped rural communities in Ireland.

Computer skills for locals

A mobile service organised through the Fingal Leader Partnership made innovative use of EAFRD support to deliver computer training to isolated communities from a ‘roadster’ vehicle. The roadster helped train local people so that they could manipulate modern technology to their advantage by enhancing and improving their skills base, capacity and confidence - thereby opening up access to new job opportunities. Courses delivered for beginners and advanced users included ECDL, Photoshop and Internet for Farm Families. Over 250 locals ranging in age from 10 to 87, and living in the east coast of Ireland area, have been trained from the roadster. The total project cost €65,000, with €32,186 coming from EAFRD.

Small Business Boost

The Talty family has farmed marine products for generations. Eileen and Gerrard received EAFRD support to build a new storage and packaging facility for their business. This helped create permanent jobs and provide a springboard for further expansion. Supported by project funding, a 170 sq mt unit for biodegradable packaging and storing was built and equipped. The unit was specifically designed and tailored to meet the needs of the business. The implementation of this project highlights the fact that a traditional enterprise, such as seaweed harvesting, can be developed into a modern business with the ability to develop a significant market worldwide, with comparatively modest financial support. The cost of the project was €134,400 with EAFRD contributing €36,960.

Farm improvement

EAFRD support for investment in calving facilities helped a farm in Co Monaghan achieve EU standards, enhance productivity, improve labour efficiency and control farm waste. The main aim of this project was to boost the overall productivity and profitability of the farm by improving the calving and calf housing facilities. The new calving facility for 100 cows allows the operator to comfortably calve cows and it’s integrated into the winter housing for easier feeding and management. It also ensures that all straw bedding and run-off is controlled. The welfare of cows and calves has improved and there is now a safer working environment for the farmer. The project cost €120,000, with EAFRD contributing €29,250.

Last update: 28/11/2014  |Top