IFA President Eddie Downey has said that farmers are demanding the implementation of GLAS and insisting that the commitment made by Minister Coveney at the recent IFA AGM for a mid-February opening be honoured.
Eddie Downey said Minister Coveney must open the scheme without delay, with all farmers accepted into the scheme and a substantial payment this year.
IFA Rural Development Chairman Flor McCarthy said the Rural Development Programme is a vital part of the support structure to Irish farmers and low-income farmers are very dependent on the payments. The early agreement of the RDP in Brussels is now an urgent priority as already nine member states have had their plans approved, with further plans ready to be approved.
Flor McCarthy pointed out that many farmers have received their last REPS payment and it has to be a priority of the Minister to get the GLAS scheme open and to allow all farmers who are applying for the scheme to become eligible. “It will be unacceptable if some farmers are excluded from the scheme as the environmental supports are a key component of the support structure to low income farmers in vulnerable sectors and regions.”