Deputy Willie Penrose has welcomed the announcement by the Government that it is committing a further €1.9b in exchequer funding to various and important agricultural schemes over the next seven years.
“It is a significant sum and represents a strong commitment to and confidence in the agri-food sector, and when added to the €2.2b already secured from the EU as part of the CAP negotiations, over €4b will now be available for rural development funding,” he said, adding “this indicates that the Government will contribute up to 47% of the ratio – not far off the 50% demanded by various organisations, and compares very favourably with the previous programme”.
“I was lobbied intensively by farm organisations, community groups, individuals, and development organisations, and I made strong representations to my colleague Brendan Howlin TD, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform. He has now delivered the goods for rural Ireland, notwithstanding the refrains of the ‘Doubting Thomases’.”
He added, “It is important that all steps that are taken to ensure that the agricultural sector grows in a competitive and sustainable manner, and that all resources are targeted effectively”. “I wholeheartedly welcome the new agri-environment/climate scheme (GLAS) which will build upon the progress made under REPS and AEOS,” Deputy Penrose continued. “It will provide 50,000 farmers with a maximum payment of €5,000, with a further payment of up to €2,000 for a limited number of farmers who take on particularly challenging actions.”
“Together with about €195m provided for disadvantaged areas (Areas of National Constraint), and incentives for on-farm investment, this package of supports provides a sound basis for progress in the sector. It will help to achieve the objectives set out in the Food Harvesting 2020 strategy, and thereby make a significant contribution to Irelands’ recovery.”