30 Nov 2010
AEOS SCHEME VITAL FOR LOW-INCOME FARMERS + MUST BE IN PLACE FOR 2011 – IFARural Development
IFA President John Bryan said the Minister for Agriculture Brendan Smith must ensure an AEOS replacement for the 23,000 farmers who are leaving REPS by 2011 is in place.
He said that Minister Smith must insist at the Budget discussions on having a replacement AEOS scheme available. “Significant savings have been achieved by moving to the AEOS as the average payment is €2,000 less. The lack of a replacement AEOS for farmers leaving REPS3 would be a disaster for rural Ireland.”
Mr. Bryan said the AEOS scheme is a vital support to farmers, particularly in the livestock sector, and has a huge economic spin off in terms of employment and spending in the rural economy.
The IFA President said farmers have clearly shown their interest in providing environmental value on their farms, which benefits the wider environment and supports farm income. In addition, the measures in AEOS assist in reaching the national target on biodiversity, water quality and climate change.
“The REPS3 payment, averaging €6,200, represents a significant proportion of net income on livestock farms across the country, and the AEOS is critical to their future viability.”