IFA Rural Development Chairman Flor McCarthy has called on the Minister of Agriculture to bring forward the introduction of the AEOS 3 scheme, and said it must be a broad scheme which will include farmers other than those in SAC and Commonage areas.
Mr McCarthy was commenting on a statement which the Minister made recently in the Dail where he said he intends to open an AEOS scheme next September. “This scheme must apply at an earlier stage, and must include farmers who have left REPS 3 in 2011 and who now have no agri-environment scheme available to them.”
Mr McCarthy said, “The AEOS scheme is a vital support scheme for farmers, particularly drystock farmers. The Teagasc National Farm Survey has clearly indicated over the last number of years that farmers who are in REPS/AEOS have a higher income, as the payments make a significant contribution to overall farm income.”
He said, “An AEOS scheme rewards farmers for carrying out key environmental works on their farms and that it was of vital importance that an AEOS 3 scheme was now put in place.”