IFA Rural Development Chairman Michael Biggins said the Results based Environment Agri Pilot Project (REAP) closes today and it’s already oversubscribed. Current figures suggest the number of applications will be at least double the number of places.
“While we know it’s a pilot project to run along with the existing schemes for 2021 and 2022, the budget of €10m per annum is totally inadequate to cater for the demand,” he said.
“Of €79m allocated to agri-environment and other farm support measures in Budget ‘21, €56m was EU funding and €23m from the carbon tax. This €23m is a long way short of what should be allocated in 2021 if the Government is to live up to their commitment to allocate €1.5bn from carbon tax to fund a REPS-2 type programme. A commitment was also given that this is to be in addition to CAP Pillar II funding.”
The Rural Development Chairman said, “The high level of application from farmers is no surprise given the number who exited AEOS, and new entrants who had no environment scheme open to them. This shows that there is demand for environmental schemes among farmers”.
We are calling on the Minister of Agriculture Charlie McConalogue to increase the budget to meet the demand, ensuring all farmers who wish to participate in REAP are given the opportunity to do so.