IFA Rural Development Chairman Flor McCarthy has said that the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney must announce the introduction of an AEOS 3 scheme, as farmers who have left REPS 3 are left with an uncertain situation regarding a new agri-enviroment scheme.
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 1<sup>st</sup> 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 critical 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 is important, particularly for low-income farmers and underpins agricultural production on these farms.