RTÉ One, Thursday, 8.30pm
Ear to the Ground

Programme 8

Ear to the Ground

While Irish farmers average about ¤300 per hectare, the average payments in newer member states are much lower. Last summer, Helen Carroll travelled to Romania, the poorest country in the European Union and the home of EU Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos to see how farming practices differ and how farmers there view CAP reform.

80% of the world's population regularly eat it, but goat isn't something that you'd normally think of when it comes to choosing meat for dinner. A staple in North African and Middle Eastern cuisine, goat meat, or kid is considered a healthy alternative to beef and chicken because its low in fat and cholesterol. The meat is slowly making its mark in top class eateries in the UK and is selling in high-end department store Harrods in London for £20 a kilo. With the influx of new cultures to our shores, the popularity of goat meat is also on the rise here - a market that some savvy farmers are keen to cash in on. Ella McSweeney meets the Co Westmeath farmer investing in her herd, hoping to tap into the ever-expanding goat meat market.

For more than 40 years, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) has been the European Union's most important common policy. The CAP costs the European Union ¤55 billion per year and is set to be revamped in 2013. This week (beginning 16th January 2012) European Commissioner Dacian Ciolos will be speaking at the IFA Annual General Meeting. His proposals for reforming the Common Agricultural Policy will affect over 100,000 Irish farmers directly. But who will lose out and who if any will gain? Darragh McCullough meets two farmers with vastly different opinions on what they want from CAP reform.

Ear to the Ground is produced by Independent Pictures for RTÉ

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