IFA National Livestock Chairman Brendan Golden has called on the Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue to provide a ‘grace’ period for farmers who have yet to meet the 50% female replacement criteria in the BDGP scheme.
Brendan Golden said there are still a small number of farmers who have not met the 50% 4 -or 5-star female replacement criteria for the scheme. The deadline for meeting this requirement is the 31st October.
While recognising the efforts made by ICBF, the Department of Agriculture and all stakeholders, Brendan Golden said, “We cannot ignore the reality of what happened over the past two weeks, where the marketing of animals was disrupted at short notice. This will have contributed to some farmers not being able to meet the requirement by 31st October”.
Meeting with senior Department of Agriculture officials yesterday, Brendan Golden said IFA made a strong case for the provision of a ‘grace’ period for several weeks to help these farmers meet the 50% female replacement criteria.
He said this would not impact on the issuing of payments and is a reasonable request to facilitate farmers who had planned to purchase their 4-or 5- star animals in the past week, having received their advance basic payment on 16th October.
“IFA has also called for flexibility on the tolerances for meeting the 50% requirement where farmers are within one animal of meeting the 90% compliance, or full compliance with this measure. Penalties for falling below 90% compliance are severe, and recognition must be given to farmers where they are within one animal of the threshold.”