IFA National Hill Committee chairman Pat Dunne has urged Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed to ensure that a significant amount of the allocation to the Hen Harrier Locally-Led Scheme benefits farmers.
Welcoming the announcement by Minister Creed that a project team had been appointed, Mr Dunne said it was now important that the team got to work immediately with farmers so that schemes can be devised that will help to address the restrictions that designations had on their land and the impact these designations had on farm income.
The locally-led scheme is the last element of the 2014-2020 RDP to be implemented and farmers in hen harrier and other areas expect a scheme that is going to be meaningful and worthwhile.
Mr Dunne said that of the €35m allocated to this element of the locally-led schemes, it was important that the vast majority is spent in hen harrier areas as the tendering process for the pearl mussel has failed to get a project team so far.
Farmers in hen harrier areas want to see the benefits of this measure immediately with payments being made without delay once plans have been drawn up, he said.