IFA Hill Chairman Pat Dunne has said that the proposed condition that 80% of Commonage farmers must agree on stocking rules to get into the new GLAS scheme will not work and must be changed.
Speaking following an IFA Hill Committee meeting in Dublin today, Pat Dunne said that Minister Coveney must honour his commitment to set-up a discussion on this and other issues relating to commonages with an independent Chairman. Implementing an 80% agreement will prove extremely difficult in many commanages and is impractical.
Continuing the IFA Hill Chairman also said that the decision by Minister Coveney to incorporate the Sheep Grassland scheme into the Single Farm Payment will in effect result in hill farmers losing the Sheep Grassland scheme. This decision must be revisited as all direct payments are a vital lifeline for hill farmers.
The IFA Hill Chairman said that the Rural Development Programme is an opportunity to ensure that an effective environmental scheme and strengthen Areas of Natural Constraint payments are put in place to support farm incomes which are under serious threat in hill areas.