IFA Rural Development Chairman Joe Brady has said sufficient flexibilities are available to ensure that ANC payments can increase and that areas currently designated can be fully protected in the upcoming review of ANC areas in Ireland.
Speaking at a special COPA meeting on the role of ANC payments in the CAP post-2020 today in Brussels, Joe Brady said the EU Commission told IFA that it is up to the Department of Agriculture to come forward with analysis of new natural handicap criteria. Flexibility exists under the criteria to protect existing areas and to devise a payment system that relates to the various land types.
The IFA Rural Development leader said the meeting was told that the Review must be finalised for next year’s scheme.
Joe Brady said the payment increases arising out of the €25m additional allocation for this year’s scheme are likely to be approved by the EU Commission shortly.
He said, “The payment increase this year, worth an additional €25m to 95,000 farmers, must be the beginning of a process to enhance payment levels in the next CAP. IFA, in its submission in the CAP post 2020 consultation, has proposed an annual allocation of €300m – an increase of €75m from the current level. Payment rates should reflect the natural handicap and a strong Government commitment is now required.”