Following a meeting between the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) and the Glas division of the Department of Agriculture, INHFA National President Colm O’Donnell has called on all DAFM approved Commonage Management Planners to complete their work and submit all outstanding CMP’s without delay.
During the meeting it was confirmed to INHFA that the Department online computer system is now fully equipped to accept completed CMP’s but highlighted that out of 4,200 plans only 1,520 have been submitted and accepted to date. This statistic revealed that almost 60% of CMP’s are still not submitted with 5,500 commonage farmer’s still waiting for balancing Glas payments. Officials further confirmed that non completions of Nutrient Management Plans are holding up a small number of farmers balancing payments.
“I am calling on all DAFM approved Commonage Advisors to complete outstanding plans immediately, particularly to those contracted in block by the Department of Agriculture to Teagasc, who in turn sub contracted out the work to the Farm Relief Service (FRS). It is totally unacceptable if recent rumblings regarding cessation of FRS contracts by Teagasc delays the completion of management plans and leaves commonage farmers in Limbo land.”The farm leader continued by saying” the DAFM approved these Advisors and must now insist that their contract remains in place until the CMP’s are completed “.
Concluding O’Donnell said “that INHFA would be monitoring progress on a weekly basis and advised that an interim facility would again have to be put in place to issue outstanding payments similar to last year if Approved Advisors find themselves out of contract”.