Minister Michael Creed
Responding to Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed’s announcement of an open call for locally-led initiatives in upland and other areas, IFA Hill Committee chairman Pat Dunne said this scheme must deliver for those affected by designations on their land.
He said the €24m available under this element of the RDP locally-led programme must make a meaningful impact on farm income and cannot be absorbed by consultants and others who will be devising plans in various upland and designated areas.
The chairman said hill farmers had already identified areas where this initiative can work. This can be added to in other upland areas where farmers will participate in environmental projects, which will supported by the locally-led initiative.
Mr Dunne said that in the RDP 2014-2020, €70m is allocated to the locally-led programme.
A total of €15m of this has already been allocated to the Burren, €35m to hen harrier and freshwater pearl mussel areas, with the remainder to be allocated to other areas.
IFA will be insisting that the vast majority of this money goes directly to farmers.