IFA Rural Development Chairman, Flor McCarthy has urged the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney to put in place a meaningful Rural Development Plan (RDP), with farmers at the centre of all support measures.
With the consultation process having already commenced on the next plan, Mr McCarthy pointed out that the current plan had been under serious pressure for the last four years with continuous budget cutbacks and some schemes having being suspended.
“This situation must not arise in the next Rural Development Plan as farmers need certainty that all measures that are agreed remain in place for the duration of the seven-year plan,” he said.
“It is vitally important that the Minister secures significant levels of EU funding with a co-financing rate of 50 percent. This will ensure that meaningful schemes can be put in place which will have an impact on farm income and which will support the rural economy.”
The chairman went on to conclude by saying that priority measures in the next plan must include an improved Disadvantaged Areas Scheme, a broader and more meaningful agri-environment scheme compared to AEOS, investment aid for all sectors of farming and support for reintroduction of the young farmer installation aid.