IFApPresident John Bryan has welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, that a new AEOS 3 Scheme will be opened to 6,000 farmers, with a maximum payment of €4,000.
He said the scheme will be available to farmers in both Natura and non-Natura areas.
“While the payment rates are lower that REPS 3, the scheme recognises the necessity to have an agri-environment scheme. AEOS delivers significant benefits to the rural environment and is of huge importance in the rural economy, generating activity and leading to a wider investment spin off,” he said.
The IFA president said the new scheme will allow the agri-environment measure to play an important role in agricultural policy.
“Combined with other Rural Development measures, it sends a very strong signal that in the forthcoming CAP negotiations, Pillar 11 measures will be a vital element in protecting vulnerable sectors and regions as part of the overall CAP Budget post-2013,” he said.
IFA Rural Development chairman Flor McCarthy said that direct supports such as Single Farm Payment, REPS, AEOS, Disadvantaged Areas and other sectoral schemes are critical in supporting farm income. He said,
“It is important that the Department of Agriculture make the full details of the new scheme available as soon as possible to allow farmers to apply without delay,” said Mr McCarthy.