IFA Rural Development Chairman Joe Brady has called on Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed to confirm his commitment to increase funding for the ANC scheme to €230m in 2018.
Joe Brady said this is necessary in light of the possibility that the review of the ANC scheme, due to take place this year, could be postponed to 2019 following the most recent meeting of the EU Agriculture Council of Ministers.
The Rural Development Chairman said, “The decision by Minister Creed to support a deferral of the ANC review, due to take place this year for implementation next year, must not deflect from the Programme for Government commitment that the funding for the scheme will increase by €25m in 2018
As far as IFA is concerned, there is no relationship between the review and the provision of the additional funding.
He said, “There is a commitment to increase funding by €25m in 2018, but the total funding for the ANC scheme should increase to the level it was before cuts, €250m.”
A strong IFA nationwide ANC campaign has been underway for the past the past four months, focussing on protecting areas, restoring funding by €50m and increasing the payments rates to support farm income. The clear message from the thousands of farmers at the IFA meetings is that the Government must restore funding to pre-2009 levels and payments rates must increase to reflect the natural handicap.