IFA Rural Development Chairman Joe Brady has called on the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed to ensure that all 10,000 farmers who are due payments under the GLAS scheme are paid without any further delays.
At a meeting with the Department of Agriculture in Johnstown Castle, Joe Brady said that payments will continue next week. It is vital that a significant number of the 10,000 farmers who are due a payment get paid.
So far, €97m was paid out at the end of December, which represented 85% of the payment to 27,363 GLAS I and II farmers. IFA estimate that a further €35m is now due as well as GLAS+ payments worth €3.6m. The remaining 15% payment will be paid from the end of February onwards, when on-farm inspections have been completed by the Department of Agriculture on selected farms.
In relation to AEOS, Joe Brady pointed out that around 4,000 farmers are still due a payment, which for many is their last payment in the scheme, as many AEOS farmers have moved to GLAS.
Joe Brady said that the delays in payment have caused a lot of concern on farms and has seriously affected cash-flow difficulties on farms.
In relation to GLAS III, the IFA Rural Development Chairman has welcomed the fact that all 14,000 farmers who applied for the scheme at the end of 2016 will be accepted. “The inclusion of the 837 Tier 3 farmers is a sensible move as the more farmers who are in a scheme like GLAS, the bigger impact it has on farm income. The total number of farmers in the scheme will be 52,282. This is worth in excess of €230m and will play a vital role in supporting low-income farms”.