Mr. John O’Beirne, Roscommon IFA County Chairman said that Ireland is failing in its commitment to agri-environment schemes because the Government has yet to implement an AEOS 3 for the thousands of farmers who have completed their REPS 3 plans.
Mr. O’Beirne said it is clear that Ireland is out of step compared to other countries, and not following through on its agri-environment commitments as agreed in the CAP Rural Development Plan 2007–2013.
Mr. O’Beirne said that the Minister for Agriculture must now commence negotiations on a meaningful AEOS3, which must be available to farmers in all areas of the county.
Mr. O’Beirne said: “The objective in the Rural Development Plan was that 70,000 farmers would be in agri-environment schemes at this stage. However just 45,000 farmers are currently in REPS 4, AEOS 1 and AEOS 2. At the end of this year over 500 farms will have completed REPS 4, to be followed by a further 29,000 by the end of 2014.”
“This will lead to significant savings in the RDP and these savings must be used to put a meaningful AEOS 3 scheme in place. Furthermore savings will accrue through underspends of EU funds across a number of areas including the Broadband scheme. These savings must be used to put in place a meaningful AEOS 3 which will allow EU commitments on the agri-environment programme to be met.”
Mr. O’Beirne said that agri-environment schemes are a vital support to farmers, underpins environmental standards and ensures agricultural production is sustained.
Issue dated: 08 June 2012
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