The Irish Natura & Hill Farmers Association is calling on Minister Creed to make the updated ANC maps available to the farming organisations and the general public. National President Colm O’Donnell outlined how recently reported statements made by Junior Minister Andrew Doyle indicating little change in the areas entitled to payments under the Areas of Natural Constraint Scheme would indicate that these maps are now finalised. “If this is the case then the maps need to be made public” stated O’Donnell.
The drafting of these maps has being done on the back of an EU requested ANC review. This review favours assessing eligible areas on a bio-physical criteria rather than the current socio-economic model and should added O’Donnell “ensure payments made under this scheme follows the actual land constraint.”
“Making sure this happens, in conjunction with an increased budget has being the basis of our campaign over the last eighteen months” stated the farmer’s leader. He also added “how this campaign saw the largest turnout to any farmer meeting over the last number of years, with the expectation being that science would determine what land would be eligible for an ANC payment.”
“For this reason and in the interests of transparency it is now vital that these maps are made public” concluded O’Donnell.