Sunday 07 October 2012
Farmers take EU money so must obey the rules
ULSTER Unionist MLA Jo-Anne Dobson has challenged the European Commissioner for Agriculture, Dacian Ciolos, at an event hosted by party colleague Jim Nicholson MEP at Greenmount College.
Welcoming the Commissioner to Northern Ireland, the Upper Bann MLA challenged him on how he could justify the greening of pillar one and asked whether he was aware that it may counterproductively affect food production in the province.
Mrs Dobson said: “Given the rapidly increasing world population I find it somewhat bizarre that the Commission have proposed a wide range of mandatory environmental measures that actually have the potential to hamper production. It was clearly explained to Commissioner Ciolos that Northern Ireland is already much more advanced in terms of our agri-environmental schemes.
“In response the Commissioner said this may well be the case but that it ‘is not the case for many other regions in the European Union’.
“Whilst he at least acknowledged that Northern Ireland may be ahead of the game in our environmental safeguards, I found it worrying that he is showing such little flexibility on his proposals for the greening of pillar one.”
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