IFA President Tim Cullinan said the inclusion of all applicants for ACRES was the best outcome for those wishing to participate in an agri-environment scheme.
“The Dept has made the right decision here. It would have sent a very negative signal if farmers had expressed an interest in the scheme and then found themselves locked out,” he said.
He said IFA had raised this with Minister McConalogue at every opportunity once it became apparent that there was such interest.
IFA Rural Development Chairman Michael Biggins said today’s announcement removes a lot of uncertainty and financial pressure for many farm families.
“We’ve been pushing for this for some time now given the importance of agri-environment schemes to so many farm families, particularly those in the vulnerable sectors, to keep going,” he said.
“It’s vital now that adequate resources are provided to avoid any complications or potential delay in receipt of payments down the road. It’s vital too that anybody looking to get into Tranche 2 is accommodated.”