INHFA county Leitrim Chairman Martin Feehily has called on the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine (DAFM) Charlie Mc Conalogue to “extend the application deadline for the Shass Landslide Relief Scheme beyond the 30th of November 2022. This must be done so that the affected farmers and landowners can make an application based on the true facts”, added Mr Feehily.
Mr. Feehily pointed out that DAFM officials had given a commitment to the INHFA at a meeting on the 22nd November that they would seek clarity from the EU Commission. The clarity that is needed is , whether or not the affected lands might be considered as eligible Agricultural areas for inclusion in the 2023 application for the Basic Income Support for Sustainability (BISS) in 2023.
“Farmers need answers to these very serious questions” stated the chairman who continued by saying, ” If they sign up to the landslide relief scheme with the current terms and conditions insisting that the affected areas, will not be considered an eligible area for the purposes of the BISS scheme or any other area related schemes in future ,where do they stand”?.
Mr.Feehily concluded by saying,” its unfair and unjust to expect anyone to sign up to terms and conditions of a scheme when the scheme designers (the DAFM) have agreed to seek clarity on a critical element of the scheme, which is whether or not the affected lands can be considered as Agricultural Areas going forward. The Minister must intervene and extend the application deadline until certainty is provided by the Commission and a workable solution is found for all sides”.