IFA National Rural Development Chairman Joe Brady has said the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed must secure the extension of GLAS 1 & 2 for the 36,000 farmers whose contract expires at the end of the year.
He said, “Proposed draft regulations to extend the current CAP until 1st Jan 2022 means that agri-environmental schemes must also be extended, otherwise farmers in the GLAS scheme will be at a significant financial loss next year. This is unacceptable”.
At a recent meeting with the Department of Agriculture, IFA emphasised the need for such an extension and were told by officials that it was possible. The same can also apply to TAMS, BDGP, and the KT programme.
The IFA Rural Development Chairman also urged the Minister to reopen GLAS for young farmers and new entrants who have commenced farming since the scheme closed in 2016.
“There is scope in the 2014 – 2020 Rural Development Programme for this as it provides for 50,000 farmers in the scheme (currently there are 48,500 farmers participating). The remaining places should be offered to new entrants under the same conditions as the existing scheme.”
Joe Brady also pointed out that farmers with Natura land who are not in GLAS or a locally led scheme have no compensation scheme available to them. Farmers who were in AEOS (but not GLAS) should also be allowed into a reopened GLAS scheme.
In relation to 2019 GLAS payments, the Department has indicated that 45,500 farmers have received their 85% advance payment worth €163m. IFA is calling for all outstanding payments, including the 15% balancing payment, to made without delay. €41m is due to GLAS farmers in respect of the 2019 scheme.