Gildernew Encouraged By Rise In Farm Incomes

AGRICULTURE Minister Michelle Gildernew MP MLA warmly welcomed the increase in agricultural income for 2010, which was indicated by DARD figures published today. Commenting on the figures, the Minister said, “After several years when farm incomes were static or falling we can see some good news on the horizon. In particular, the recovery in the value of dairy output is very encouraging after the difficulties experienced in this sector during 2009. “Unfortunately, the beef sector fared less well during 2010 and there are concerns about rising input costs. For these reasons, the Single Farm Payment remains a critically important tool for supporting agriculture.” The Minister added, “However we must not be complacent, as the current sharp increases in the prices of many inputs, such as feed, fuel and machinery, could quickly offset many of these gains as we move into 2011 and I am aware of the growing concerns this is creating. “As we look to the future, it is clear that we need a strong CAP that is carefully shaped for the benefit of all. I am committed to fighting for just such an outcome in the ongoing discussions on CAP reform post 2013. “The rise in prices for many agricultural commodities in 2010 was a welcome boost for farmers and helped renew confidence. Whilst today‚Äôs farm income figures are a positive step in the right direction, a lot of work still has be done to ensure this momentum is continued.”]]>