IFA Rural Development Chairman, Joe Brady, has called on the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD, to clarify when GLAS payments will be made to the 3,800 farmers who are awaiting them.
Mr Brady said the Minister and his department had “committed” to meeting all outstanding payments by the end of April during a recently held Charter of Rights meeting.
Since the start of the year, 5,000 farmers have received the 85% GLAS payment, on top of the 28,000 farmers who were paid before the end of 2016.
“This means, that on average, a little over 300 farmers have been paid per week and at this rate of payment it will be another three months before all cases are sorted out,” Mr Brady told the Leader.
“This is just not acceptable and Minister Creed needs to step up to the mark to sort out this debacle and to tell farmers when they will be paid.”
IFA estimates that €40m is still owed to GLAS farmers for 2016.
This includes the 3,800 farmers who are still due their payment; 33,000 farmers who got partial payment who are still owed the final 15% payment, and the GLAS + to 3,000 farmers.
“Farmer frustration is at boiling point,” concluded Mr Brady.
“The Minister must show his commitment to farmers in GLAS by making all outstanding payments without any further delay.”
Meanwhile, the organisation’s National Livestock Chairman Angus Woods has welcomed the announcement from Minister Creed of the re-opening of the Beef Data and Genomics Scheme (BDGP).
He also encouraged suckler farmers to apply.
The Scheme will open on April 19 and closing date in May 8.
“All suckler farmers who have not applied under the existing BDGP1 scheme are eligible to apply,” said Mr Woods.
“It is important that suckler farmers apply as soon as possible and before the closing date in order to ensure that they can get paid before year-end.
“This new scheme will run for six years until 2022.
“Payments under the scheme amount to €142.50/ha on the first 6.66 ha and €120/ha thereafter.
“This equates to €95 per cow on the first 10 cows and €80 per cow on the remainder.”