Hen Harrier Scheme Must Benefit Farmers

IFA National Hill Committee Chairman Pat Dunne has urged Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed to ensure that a significant amount of the allocation to the Hen Harrier Locally-Led Scheme benefits farmers.

Welcoming the announcement by Minister Creed that a project team has been appointed, Pat Dunne said it is now important that the team gets to work immediately with farmers so that schemes can be devised that will help to address the restrictions that designations have on their land and the impact these designations have on farm income.

The Locally-Led Scheme is the last element of the 2014-2020 RDP to be implemented and farmers in hen harrier and other areas expect a scheme that is going to be meaningful and worthwhile.

The National Hill Farmers’ Leader said that of the €35m allocated to this element of the locally-led schemes, it is important that the vast majority is spent in hen harrier areas as the tendering process for the pearl mussel has failed to get a project team so far. Farmers in hen harrier areas want to see the benefits of this measure working immediately with payments being made without delay once plans have been drawn up.

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