Now before I start I want to say, I know very little about payments and how they work it is all new to me at the moment but this is what I think about CAP at the moment.
Last night there was a programme on Irish TV where they discussed how the new CAP reform will effect everyone and why we should or should not have these payments from Europe. To be honest I was none the wiser to this issue when they were done talking than before they started. As I understand it all payments will be set at the one rate , each farmer will receive a set payment depending on how much land they have. For the large farmers I can see how this is going the be a huge blow to their income and I can see as a small farmer how this will even up the score for us. I also see the problem with farms which are not being worked and still getting the same payments as the working farms.
For years I have heard how farmers do nothing but whinge and moan about how bad things are all the time and when I was away from farming to be honest this is how the farming community came across . Last night I was disappointed to see that we as a community came across again as a group of moaners . The presenter asked a number of questions to the farmers and not one actually answered the questions they were asked. Why is it so hard for people to just speak up and tell it like it is ??. FARMING IS NOT A PROFITABLE BUSINESS WITHOUT OUR PAYMENTS. There I said it , only for those payments , big or small there would be no farming and the reason is the government sets all the prices we receive for our produce. Unlike another business which can set its prices , farming can not, we have to go with the best price we can find and in order for us to produce food and accept being paid badly for it the government has no choice but to pay us to make up the difference or there would be no more food produced on big farms or small.
I don’t understand the ‘Shut mouth’ policy in the farming community, is it they are afraid someone will prosper from what they tell ? Do they think they will get further if they pretend to not know ? or are we really a bunch of whingers and begrudger’s ?? and why does it come across that there is a divide in farming , men/women, farm groups and farmers ??
When we started out farming three years ago nearly I rang a well know farming group to ask advice about starting a farm from scratch , I told them I didn’t have time to do my cert as I would be 35 before I was done and I was politely told that really I would be better to forget about farming and just lease the farm to another local farmer . Talk about steam coming out of my ears . When I got no where with them I tried people who are farming and I got the ‘shut mouth ‘ policy , people told me they didn’t really know , they didn’t understand most of that kind of thing , these people have been bloody farming for donkey’s years what did they take me for, a solid fool ? . This showed again last night in the debate on CAP no one could give a straight answer , I thought we were suppose to be a community and to all work together to improve Ireland as a top agricultural country. Well first I think we need to start worrying less about how well anyone else is getting on , worrying less if we help someone out that the other person will be ahead of us and start helping each other by speaking up and helping everyone big or small to stay farming .
I was also disappointed there was only two female farmers there and that there wasn’t a few more, maybe with time that will change. The new reform will help us on the farm and yes it will effect others badly but maybe it will be the wake up call that’s need to bring the community together and start working as a team that everyone prospers as much as the next. We need to start feeling more community with a lot less moaning and less ‘shut mouth ‘ .