Opposition Business – Agriculture EU Funding

That this Assembly notes with concern the risks to multiple streams of funding posed by withdrawal from the European Union; further notes that over 70% of all European funding to Northern Ireland falls under the common agricultural policy and other rural funds, which provide approximately £350 million each year to farmers, representing 87% of annual farm income; acknowledges that the agri-food sector accounts for 3·25% of Northern Ireland’s gross value added, which equates to £1·1 billion at basic prices and approximately 71,500 local jobs and that existing strategies in these sectors, such as Going for Growth, make no provision for the withdrawal of European Union funding; and calls on the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs to outline how she intends to uphold the First Minister’s commitment that farmers can be provided for as well, if not better, if Northern Ireland leaves the European Union, and to detail how she will develop a strategy to provide for and secure the long-term sustainability of the agricultural and agri-food sectors to ensure no loss of assistance to farmers arising from the withdrawal of existing European Union funding.