Responding to Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed’s announcement that the recruitment of dedicated management teams to design and deliver locally-led projects in hen harrier and freshwater pearl mussel areas has begun, IFA Rural Development Chairman Joe Brady said the bottom line for farmers in the areas involved is that the measures make a meaningful impact on farm income. The locally-led schemes must also recognise the impact that designated areas have on the farmers involved, and the payments arising to farmers must reflect this.
Joe Brady pointed out that with up to 3,000 farmers set to benefit from this measure, it is vital that the locally-led programme is extended to other areas such as uplands, Shannon Callows, and other designated areas through the country.
The IFA Rural Development Chairman said that in the RDP 2014-2020, €70m is allocated to the locally-led programme. €15m of this has already been allocated to the Burren, €35m to hen harrier and freshwater pearl mussel areas, with the remainder to be allocated to other areas. IFA will be insisting that the vast majority of this money goes directly to farmers.