05 Jun 2014
HILL FARMERS FRUSTRATED AT SPIN BY MINISTER COVENEY ON COMMONAGE STOCKING LEVELSHill Farming
IFA Hill Chairman Pat Dunne has expressed serious concern that the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney is spinning the line that he has made concessions on the collective agreement for getting into GLAS in commonage areas by putting in a level lower than the 80% to get into Tier 2 of GLAS.
Pat Dunne said that putting any percentage is flawed and will not be accepted by hill farmers in getting priority access to GLAS. The Minister response to a Dail question does not reflect the opposition that farmers have to a collective agreement. Imposing any collective agreement discriminates against Hill farmers and could rule many farmers out from eligibility for GLAS.
He pointed out the Minister’s proposal for the 80% stocking requirement for commonages in the new GLAS scheme has caused a lot of anger among the thousands of hill farmers who have maintained the commonage land in good agricultural condition. “These active producers must not be discriminated against where there is a high proportion of dormant shareholders who haven’t farmed or claimed their commonages for many years.”