Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Grassland sheep payment scheme should continue - O' Connell

The Chairperson of County Wexford Sinn Féin has called on the government to continue the grassland sheep payment scheme until new CAP regulations come into place.  The scheme which was introduced in 2010 for a three year period to support flock owners and to halt the decline of the national sheep flock was set to end this year, but Mr O' Connell believes that the delay in the implementation of new CAP rules should influence the length of this particularly important scheme.

Mr O' Connell said;

"It has been estimated that the Irish sheep industry is worth €250 million to our economy.  Over two thirds of the product is exported.  However before this scheme was introduced the national flock was declining rapidly.  The investment of €54 million has revitalised the industry and increased its worth to the state."

"The agri sector has the potential to create many more jobs as well as sustainable development in rural areas if it is managed right and protected.  This scheme was originally due to end this year and I feel that may have been due to the expected CAP renegotiations that have since been delayed."

"Wexford Sinn Féin is calling on Minister Coveney to keep the grassland sheep payment scheme in place until the new CAP plan is implemented.  The Minister knows how important this scheme is to sheep farmers and must also realise its value to the wider economy."

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