IFA President John Bryan has said the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney must make an announcement on the opening of AEOS before the end of July.
John Bryan said, “Many low-income farmers, especially along the Western seaboard, depend on agri-environment payments to support their income, which has already been decimated by the closure of REPS and cuts to other schemes. The prolonged spells of heavy rain this summer have added to costs on farms and direct payments will be a crucial element of farm income in 2012 and beyond.”
The IFA President said the loss of REPS payments to thousands of farmers is having a devastating on low-income farmers, and it is now opportune for the Minister to announce a meaningful scheme, which goes beyond designated areas.
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.”
IFA Rural Development Chairman Flor McCarthy said that farmers in Disadvantaged Areas are feeling the impact of cuts in successive budgets and Minister Coveney has got to show his commitment to sustaining farming in marginal land areas.