UFU comments on farm funding review

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The Ulster Farmers’ Union says a recent government report confirming UK farm funding allocations until 2022 gives farmers in Northern Ireland some clarity.

However, the UFU stressed that any additional money to regions must come from the UK Treasury and not from existing agricultural funds in other parts of the UK.

The comments were made as the government agreed to allocate Scotland an extra £60 million over the next two years as per the report recommendations. The report was commissioned at the request of the Scottish Government to specifically review how the UK distributed additional EU farm funding, received in 2012, to devolved administrations.

UFU president, Ivor Ferguson said: “The UFU has always argued that the primary objective of CAP Pillar 1 funding is to support farm incomes and the fairest, most equitable way of achieving this is to base it on agriculture output. Any additional funds must come from the UK Treasury. Reducing funding to other regions would be grossly unfair and something we have consistently and strongly opposed.”

The UFU says the report has fulfilled the Scottish Government’s request to look at the distribution of EU convergence funding and it would be inappropriate for it to be used to inform future regional allocations of farm support.

“The report had a specific focus. We can see no credible argument for using it to amend the current formula for the regional allocations of farm support.

“Any reduction in payments to farmers here would be totally unacceptable and we will work to ensure Northern Ireland’s farmers do not lose out,” said Mr Ferguson.