IFA Rural Development Chairman Flor McCarthy has called on the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to immediately intervene with his Department which is currently sending out rejection letters to 2,500 farmers for the second phase of GLAS.
Flor McCarthy said it is unacceptable that these farmers are being told that they are ineligible for GLAS as they are Tier 3 farmers. In many instances these farmers have put in significant GLAS plans and have paid their Planner to draw these plans up.
The Rural Development Chairman said that Minister Coveney must allow these farmers into the scheme. By refusing to allow these farmers into the scheme, the Minister has backtracked on a commitment that he made at Budget time that at least 13,000 farmers would be allowed into the scheme.
The IFA Rural Development Chairman said that in the Rural Development Plan 2014-2020 it is envisioned that 50,000 farmers would join the GLAS scheme. At this stage nearly 38,000 farmers will be in the scheme.Telling the 2,500 farmers that they can apply later in the year for the next phase of GLAS will result in these farmers getting no payment at all in 2016.
Flor McCarthy called on the Minister to reverse this decision and to allow all 14,000 farmers who applied in the first phase of GLAS into the scheme.
GLAS watercourse fencing requirement – concession needed
Flor McCarthy said that the condition in the first phase of GLAS that farmers who have watercourses must have them fenced off by the end of March must be waived as the recent flooding is making it impossible for farmers to complete this task. It is likely that in many areas the floods will not have subsided by the end of March. The date to complete this task under GLAS should be extended to the end of May.