IFA President Eddie Downey has called on the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to put the maximum pressure on the EU Commission for the early agreement of the Rural Development Programme in Brussels and to open up the GLAS and TAMS schemes.
Eddie Downey said, “The plan has now been with the EU Commission for well over six months and Ireland’s plan has not yet been approved. Already some countries have had their plans approved and are implementing their schemes. The urgent implementation of the farm schemes was never more pressing given the difficult income position of many farmers”.
Key IFA officers from every county will lobby members of the Oireachtas next Wednesday to put pressure on the Government to get approval for the RDP and get schemes open without further delay.
IFA Rural Development Chairman Flor McCarthy pointed out that with many farmers now having received their last REPS payment, it has got 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.
IFA Hill Committee Chairman Pat Dunne said that commonage farmers must be allowed the necessary flexibility to join the GLAS scheme under the new rules on the grazing management of common land.