The Irish Natura & Hill Farmers Association has welcomed the announcement by Minister Creed to introduce interim measures which will facilitate the pay out of GLAS monies to all GLAS 1 & 2 participants including commonage farmers.
On welcoming the announcement INHFA CAP Chair Colm O Donnell outlined how ongoing dialogue with Department Officials and a meeting with Minister Creed on Monday as being a significant factor in this announcement. The interim arrangements will allow for the inclusion of GLAS 3 participants which O Donnell stated “is something we called for last week and will be vital when planners come to finalising these plans”
“However interim arrangements are just that” added O Donnell who stated “that the focus now needs to move to ensuring these plans are sustainable and workable for farmers”
In recent weeks the INHFA have outlined serious concerns regarding what responsibilities farmers are taking on under these Plans. While these issues are complex O Donnell stated that “we have concerns that these plans are not just farm plans that will end after five years, but could require farmers to manage these commonages on an agricultural and ecological basis well beyond the five year timeframe”
O Donnell concluded by stating “how the interim arrangements will give some time which needs to be used to find solutions to the many concerns we have outlined to both the Department of Agriculture and the NPWS”