IFA Rural Development Chairman Flor McCarthy has said that a meaningful AEOS 3 scheme must be a priority for Minister Coveney and must be put in place well in advance of the mid-May Single Farm Payment deadline.
Following a meeting with Minister Coveney, Flor McCarthy said a significant number of the 13,000 farmers who are finished REPS 3 need an AEOS 3 scheme to underpin their commitment to environmentally manage their farms as well as supporting their agricultural production on mainly livestock farms.
The IFA Rural Development Chairman told the Minister it was now vitally important that a meaningful scheme was put in place which would involve the restoration of the €5,000 maximum payment level of AEOS 1.
Mr. McCarthy said “Over the next two and a half years, 30,000 farmers will finish their REPS 4 Plan leading to significant savings. A new scheme should include all of the measures in AEOS 1 + 2 with the first priority category being farmers with Natura land followed by farmers who include measures that add significantly to environment.”
He also highlighted the unsatisfactory situation where €60m of the 2011 REPS / AEOS allocation was not spent last year.