There’s more money to be got for the west of Ireland from Europe on convergence, sitting Independent MEP Luke Ming Flanagan has said.

“There’s probably another €100m, if we get proper CAP reform the next time, full convergence and a proper CRISS scheme,” he told the Irish Farmers Journal.

“People will ask where will that money come from? It will come from the Golden Vale. Do I want to see their payments go down? Not particularly, but one thing for sure is if there’s only a certain amount in the pot, it should be evenly divided. The way that I would help those people down south is, I would support an increased fund overall. But when that fund is increased it’s the same amount of money for every hectare.”

The Roscommon man said he would not listen to “guff” about productive farmers.

“The farmers in the west of Ireland are productive, not only are they productive, they’re productive on the most difficult land to be productive on, because of that they need to be helped the most”.

Leader of the Seanad and Fianna Fáil MEP candidate from Mayo Lisa Chambers told last week’s IFA hustings in Claremorris that the challenge at European level is that not every country has a massive agricultural sector or the same asks or wants that Ireland has.

She said when you’re looking at the multi-annual financial framework, the CAP allocation is a crucial decision.

The CAP budget is “only going in one direction, quite disgracefully,” said sitting Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus.

Independent candidate Saoirse McHugh from Achill Island, Co Mayo, said that the EU needs to be thinking about an entire rewrite of the CAP.

“We need a common food policy,” she said, adding that one of the big issues with CAP is inequality.