Farm income growth highlights Agriculture Industry potential

Thursday, 30 January, 2014

The Ulster Farmers’ Union says the increase in farm incomes for 2013 illustrates the agriculture industry’s potential to contribute significantly to the Northern Ireland economy with the total income from farming in Northern Ireland having increased by 33.7% from £223million in 2012 to £298million in 2013. 

Welcoming the rise in farm incomes, UFU President Harry Sinclair said; “Things did not get off to a good start last year, farm incomes had dropped by over 50% in 2012 and farmers were faced with one of their biggest challenges as many were hit hard with possibly the worst snow storm that Northern Ireland has experienced in over 60 years.  However, the good summer and mild autumn/winter weather definitely helped to alleviate some of the damage caused and that combined with increased farm gate prices for our main commodities has helped the industry to recover from what was a very difficult and trying time for many. 
“According to the figures the estimated value of the 2013 Single Farm Payment equated to £259million which accounts for 87% of the total income. This really emphasises the importance of the Single Farm Payment to farmers and exemplifies that the marketplace alone would not deliver the proper returns to producers. Therefore, it is vital that under the next CAP reform, CAP support is targeted at productive agriculture which is something the UFU has been pushing for under the new CAP arrangements. In addition, if we are to grow the industry by 60% to £7billion by 2020 and meet the ambitious targets set out within the Agri-food Strategy Board’s ‘Going for Growth’ report, additional support from the Northern Ireland Executive will also be crucial going forward.”