IFA President Francie Gorman said the interim payment under the ACRES scheme announced by the Minister for Agriculture this evening is a step forward.
Francie Gorman said he met the Minister on Tuesday. “I left the Minister in no doubt about the urgency around this issue. The efficiency of payments as part of farm schemes is central to maintaining the trust of farmers,” he said.
“There has been huge frustration among farmers that payments had been delayed. The interim payment does recognise the hardship for farmers who had entered the scheme and who had expected payment late last year. It was very unfair to ask farmers to carry our works in the agri-environment scheme and then to leave them high and dry,” he said.
IFA Rural Development chair John Curran said Minister Charlie McConalogue has to make it a political priority that all farmers get into ACRES.
He said farmer participation in agri-environment schemes over the lifetime of this CAP term cannot be limited to 50,000 ACRES participants.
“All farmers interested in an agri-environment scheme must be accommodated. The Minister has to find the necessary funding to ensure this happens,” he said.