IFA Rural Development Chairman, Flor McCarthy, has said that the Minister of Agriculture Simon Coveney is dragging his feet on the introduction of an AEOS 3. The Minister promised that he would make an announcement by the end of July or early August on a new scheme with a closing date of end of September.
Flor McCarthy said schemes such as AEOS are vital and in the face of a serious deterioration in farm income this year and farmers must have a meaningful agri-environment scheme available to them. Already up to 13,000 farmers who were in REPS 3 will have no have no agri-environment scheme available to them this year but a start-up to a scheme from the 1st January must now be the Minister’s priority.
The IFA Rural Development Chairman said that direct supports such as Single Farm Payment, REPS, AEOS, Disadvantaged Areas and other sectoral schemes are vital in supporting farm income particularly for farmers affected by price pressures, increased costs and lower output related to the recent atrocious weather.
Flor McCarthy pointed out that the early introduction of a meaningful AEOS 3 scheme would at least signal that the Minister had the problem of low income farmers on his agenda.