The Irish Natura & Hill Farmers Association is calling for the doubling of payments made under the Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC) Scheme. INHFA spokesperson on CAP Colm O’Donnell outlined how farmers especially on the hills and in the disadvantaged areas have, “over the years taken heavy cuts in direct support that must be readdressed”
While welcoming recent proposals of increased money for ANC Payments discussed during the Program for Government, Mr O’Donnell stated “how we now have an opportunity to ensure that payments made under this Scheme can be directed at land with the highest natural constraint”
In 2008 these farmers saw cuts to the DAS and the closing of the REPS which together accounted to over €10,000 for many farmers. These cuts stated Mr O’Donnell “have never being replaced despite the introduction of two agri-environmental schemes” While these two schemes have provided some income for those that can avail of them, they are at best 50% of what REPS
provided to most farmers”
“An ANC payment in access of €6,000 in conjunction with GLAS would go some way towards replacing the money these farmers have lost” added Mr O’Donnell, he concluded by pointing out “this money won’t just support farmers but will also help the wider rural economy”.