IFA Rural Development Chairman Joe Brady has said sufficient flexibilities are available to ensure areas currently designated as ANC can be fully protected in the upcoming review. Minister Creed must give assurances to farmers that they will not lose out in the upcoming ANC review when maps are published later this year.
Joe Brady said at recent meeting in Brussels 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 that given the difficulties farmers are currently facing no farmer can afford any less payment and indeed payments must continue to rise.
Joe Brady said the payment increases arising out of the €25m additional allocation for this year’s scheme will be made in September next.
He said, “The payment increase to 95,000 farmers must be the beginning of a process to enhance payment levels in the next CAP. IFA, in its pre-Budget submission has proposed that payment levels are restored to pre-2009 levels and take account of inflation in the intervening period. The Government must provide an annual allocation of €300m for 2019 which is an increase of €75m from the current level. A strong Government commitment to low income farmers is now required.”