Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Pippa Hackett
Longford farmers are invited to sign up to a new agri-environmental scheme to improve biodiversity on farms.
A statement from the Department of Agriculture said the Programme for Government commits to rewarding farmers for adapting to more sustainable methods of farming and to the development of a new agri-environment scheme capable of delivering broad environmental and biodiversity benefits that will align financial supports with climate objectives.
To advance this objective funding has been made available for 2021 for a results-based agri-environment pilot project.
Payment rates to farmers who get involved will be decided with reference to income foregone, additional costs of specific environmental management and transaction costs. Other capital help may be available.
The pilot will only be open to farmers who have not participated in GLAS and are not in other agri-environment schemes. The application process is expected to open in the second quarter of 2021.
Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Senator Pippa Hackett welcomed the initiative.
"This is a really valuable consultation because it gives everyone who is interested in farm biodiversity an opportunity to input into the design of a new Agri-Environment Pilot. I hope all stakeholders will participate. Farmer input will be key of course, but the insights from other groups and interested parties will also be invaluable as we try to make sure this really does deliver for the environment.
"It must also deliver for farmers of course and through this, they will be given opportunities and incentives to embrace more environmental practices and benefit from results-based payments for farming with nature. What we now want is an Agri-Environment scheme in which more farmers can adapt their practices for a more sustainable form of agriculture,” said the Senator Hackett.
A summary of the current proposal can be accessed at gov.ie - Public Consultation on Proposed Agri-Environment Results Based Pilot Project