IFA Rural Development Chairman Joe Brady has urged Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed to move urgently on getting the Locally Led Agri-environment Scheme up and running as farmers are losing out due to environmental restrictions applying on their land.
At a recent meeting with the Department of Agriculture in Johnstown Castle, Joe Brady told the Department of the urgency in making use of the €70m available, given the severe income crisis on many farms.
IFA was told that of the €70m in the 2014-2020 RDP, €15m is allocated to the Burren Scheme, €35m is allocated to Hen Harrier and Fresh Water Mussel with the remaining €20m allocated to other projects on a tendering basis. These will include upland areas and other designated areas that come forward with an environmental management plan.
The IFA Rural Development Chairman said it is important that the schemes were put together without delay. Payment must be meaningful and should involve support for management actions that the farmer understands.
The Department of Agriculture informed IFA that the process will commence shortly but Joe Brady insisted that promises on these schemes were made by the last Minister and these did not come to pass.
“There is now an opportunity for Minister Creed to ensure that these schemes support farm incomes at this critical time” the IFA Rural Development Chairman concluded.