IFA Rural Development Chairman Flor McCarthy has said that following the closing of the first phase of GLAS this week, the priority for Minister Coveney must be the early re-opening of the scheme for those farmers who want to join later in the year.
It is expected that around 27,000 farmers have joined the GLAS scheme at this stage, which is welcome and a clear indication of the importance of the agri-environmental scheme to support farm income.
In that regard, Flor McCarthy said that the Minister must re-open the scheme as early as possible and allow at least 20,000 into the next phase of the scheme. Many could not join before the 26th May deadline due to the inflexibility shown in the digitisation of land parcels.
The IFA Rural Development Chairman went on to point out that the processing of applications must proceed speedily so that a significant payment can be made later in the year.
In relation to funding for GLAS, Flor McCarthy said, “Minister Coveney must ensure that in the Government’s 2016 Book of Estimates an allocation of up to €250m is provided to pay for the full year payment of up to 50,000 farmers. This is what is envisaged in the RDP and must be delivered next year”.