IFA President Eddie Downey has called on the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to put maximum pressure on the EU Commission to get the Rural Development Plan agreed so that the various farm measures such as GLAS and TAMS can be implemented without delay.
IFA President Eddie Downey has said that the delay in getting agreement on the 2014-2020 RDP is unacceptable and he called for the early implementation of all measures. It is now five months since the Plan was sent to Brussels so an early agreement is now vital.
Eddie Downey said that with REPS 4 finishing for thousands of farmers at the end of the year, combined with those who have already finished at the end of 2013, will leave a serious income loss for farmers who depend greatly on agri-environment payments to support their low income.
The IFA President said that the early implementation of the GLAS scheme is now a priority and IFA is insisting that the contract start date in 2015 allows for a significant payment to be made later next year. If the Minister fails to address this issue, it will lead to a serious income crisis on many farms next year.
Eddie Downey also said that other key measures are anxiously awaited under the RDP, such as the TAMS II Farm Investment Scheme and the Knowledge Transfer Measures for all sectors and other elements of Rural Development support which are vital for the low farm income sector.
“The Rural Development Plan is worth over €4bn with an EU contribution of €2.1bn over the 7 year period and the payments are complimentary to the Pillar I payments. It is vitally important that all of this funding is utilised with significant payments being made next year” he concluded.