Calls for discussions on CAP and the Rural Development Plan have been made by local IFA chief Andrew McHugh.
The Longford IFA Chairman asked that the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD “immediately commence detailed discussions” on the CAP Rural Development Plan 2014-2020, which McHugh added, “was of critical importance to farm income over the next seven years”.
“There are many outstanding issues to be resolved such as clarity on the stocking of commonages including opposition to the 80% stocking rule, payment levels for GLAS measures and details of eligible items for grant aid under TAMS II,” the local chief continued. “It is important that all matters are resolved before the Plan is formally sent to Brussels at the end of this month. I would also urge the agricultural minister to change the GLAS ranking system in favour of low income farmers, and to remove any specific reference to an organic nitrogen limit in the selection criteria.”
He said the scheme currently favoured farmers where the organic nitrogen limits exceeded 140kg of nitrogen per hectare, and therefore, discrimination was enevitable against farmers who were either below this nitrogen limit or are on smaller tillage farms. “There should be no reference to such categories within the GLAS criteria and all farmers - in particular those who are on low incomes - must get priority,” Mr McHugh concluded. “These are matters that must be addressed without any further delay.”