Following a pre-Budget meeting with the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed, IFA President Joe Healy said that the forthcoming Budget must deliver key funding commitments for vital farm schemes in line with the Rural Development Programme.
Joe Healy said farm schemes are very important, particularly for low-income farmers, and in a year with low prices and persistent difficult weather conditions. He put forward the five-point plan developed by IFA to help farmers hit by weather losses. It includes crisis aid for tillage farmers, a fodder scheme for farmers unable to save silage, flexibility on slurry spreading and prompt payments across all schemes.
Mr Healy said, “The potential exists within the RDP to fund 55,000 farmers in GLAS next year, which will involve a significant increase in the allocation for agri-environment schemes”.
On TAMS, IFA said the allocation must double to over €60m which will be required to pay for 5,000 farmers who will carry out investment on their farms between now and the end of 2017.
On ANCs, Joe Healy pressed the Minister to bring forward to this year the commitment contained in the Programme for Government for an increase of €25m in the funding. The IFA President also raised the re-opening of the Beef Data & Genomics Scheme to new entrants and an increase in the payment to €200 per cow.
On the new Sheep Scheme, Joe Healy the €25m allocation must be included in the Minister’s Budget announcement on Oct 11th.
IFA also raised animal health funding, forestry and other issues handled by other Departments, such as the Fair Deal scheme, Farm Assist, agri-taxation, SAC payments and the Walks Scheme.