Responding to Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed’s announcement of open call for locally-led initiatives in upland and other areas, IFA Hill Committee Chairman Pat Dunne said this scheme must deliver who are affected by designations on their land.
Pat Dunne said the €24m available under this element of the RDP locally-led programme must make a meaningful impact on farm income and cannot be absorbed by consultants and others who will be devising plans in various upland and designated areas.
The IFA Hill Chairman said hill farmers on the ground have already identified areas where this initiative can work, such as west Mayo, Connemara, south Kerry, the Wicklow upland and the Blackstairs. This can be added to in other upland areas where farmers will participate in environmental projects, which will supported by the locally-led initiative.
Pat Dunne said that in the RDP 2014-2020, €70m is allocated to the locally-led programme. €15m of this has already been allocated to the Burren, €35m to hen harrier and freshwater pearl mussel areas, with the remainder to be allocated to other areas. IFA will be insisting that the vast majority of this money goes directly to farmers.