IFA President John Bryan has met Taoiseach Enda Kenny in Waterford this week to press for a new AEOS scheme that would be available to all farmers leaving REPS3.
“Direct payments make up a signficant part of farmers’ incomes, particularly on drystock farms. The cutbacks in REPS, Disadvantaged Area payments and the Suckler Cow Welfare Scheme have had a devastating effect on the incomes of thousands of farmers. These farmers have been unfairly targeted by recent decisions and an AEOS Scheme at this time would send a strong signal to this sector of farming.”
John Bryan pointed out to the Taoiseach that many low-income farmers, especially along the Western seaboard, depend on agri environment payments to support their income, which has already been severely affected by the closure of REPS and cuts to other schemes.
IFA Rural Development Chairman Flor McCarthy said the commitment to open the AEOS3 at the end of July and accept applications up to the end of September must be matched with a scheme open to all farmers who have lost a substantial part of their income since finishing their REPS contract. He said, “It is critical that Ireland has a meaningful scheme, in the context of CAP reform and securing full Pillar 2 Rural Development funding.”