99.29% of Single Farm Payments paid in Clare as agri sector on track for good year ahead – Breen

January 11th, 2012 - Pat Breen

Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade & Clare T.D. has said that the agri-food sector is on course for another strong year, following bumper export results for 2011. Deputy Breen also confirmed that 99.29% of Single Farm Payments have been paid to farmers in Clare with outstanding payments set to be processed as quickly as possible.

“In relation to other Farm Payments, the AEOS 1 2010 payment 75% of all farmers nationally or 6,050 have been paid to date, AEOS 1 2010 payments 25% or 5,553 nationally has been paid to date and the AEOS 2011 payment 75% or 2,077 nationally has been paid to date. There are approximately 8,000 outstanding payments in respect of REPS 4 for 2011 which be finalised over the next 2 months. All claims for TAMS submitted in respect of projects completed will be process and issued without delay.”

“The end of year figures from Bord Bia for food and drink exports confirm what most of us within the sector already knew; 2011 was a great year for Irish agri-business. Food and drink exports reached record levels last year, with the value of sales abroad up 12% to almost €9 billion.

“Dairy, meat, prepared foods and seafood were the best performing sectors, illustrating the wide variety, and therefore the huge potential, on offer in the Irish market. A huge body of work is underway by the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, and by food and drink companies across the country, to develop existing markets and identify new opportunities.

“According to Bord Bia, 85% of exporters see their prospects for the year ahead as good or very good. Last year’s strong performance puts the sector on track to achieve further advances this year, despite the difficult international environment.

“A number of initiatives introduced in December’s Budget will help agri-business capitalise on export markets. For example, Foreign Earnings Deduction will make it easier for farm businesses to send workers overseas to develop new markets in the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China).

“Furthermore, Minister Coveney is planning to visit China this year to hold talks with his Chinese counterpart. A Chinese delegation visited Ireland recently and was particularly impressed with our grass-based production systems. This provides a prime opportunity to expand in the biggest emerging market in the world.

“It’s also good news to be able to confirm that €48,181,049.51 of Single Farm Payments have been paid to farmers in Clare. Cash-flow is a critical issue for farmers, particularly those on low incomes; that’s why these payments are so important for farmers and for the rural economy.”