IFA President Joe Healy said following the publication today of the ANC review by the Department of Agriculture, the appeals system will have to give every opportunity for farmers in those areas excluded to make a strong case based on natural handicaps, primarily high rainfall, which impacts on farm income.
Commenting on the overall review, the President welcomed the inclusion of areas that were unfairly excluded in the past. The appeals system will also have to cater for those areas which remain ineligible for ANC payments.
Joe Healy said it is important that the existing classifications, including those for the offshore islands, carry into the new Scheme. The IFA campaign, which started in 2017, has focused on minimal losses, an increased budget and payments based on the natural handicap.
The IFA Rural Development Chairman Joe Brady said the scheme will be worth €250m next year. This follows an increase of €50m over the last two Budgets. “IFA will be seeking a further increase in the ANC allocation to bring it to €300m per annum.”
IFA Hill Committee Chairman Flor McCarthy has welcomed the confirmation that 32,000 hill farmers will continue to receive the highest payment. The ANC Scheme into the future will have to provide the highest payments to farmers with the most marginal land, most of which are hill farms.
The payments of ANC along with other direct payments supports such as BPS and GLAS represent a significant proportion of overall farm income in the areas that are classified as ANC. The Minister must ensure that this situation does not change in the forthcoming CAP 2020 talks.
IFA will hold a meeting in the Killeshin Hotel in Portlaoise at 7.30pm tomorrow night to discuss the outcome of the ANC Review. It will be attended by County Chairs, Rural Development Committee reps & Hill Committee reps.