IFA Rural Development Chairman Flor McCarthy has said that the proposed changes to various aspects of the EU Rural Development regulations announced by Commissioner Hogan this week must be seized upon by Minster Coveney to ensure that the RDP can be fully maximised in the seven-year period of the plan.
Flor McCarthy said that the proposed change on amendments to the RDP from the current arrangement of only one per year is welcome as it will allow greater flexibility and speedier changes where proposals are being made to change aspects of certain schemes. Already, Ireland is making changes to its RDP at a meeting in Brussels this week through the inclusion of grain storage and sheep fencing in the TAMS scheme. Further changes will be required as the need arises and speedier outcomes will be necessary.
In relation to the flexibility on young farmers, IFA is calling on the Minister to clarify the situation as many young farmers who have been farming for five years or more are not qualifying for the 60% grant aid under TAMS.