Deputy Michael Lowry has criticised the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney T.D, for the “on-going and unacceptable” delay in the introduction of the AEOS 3 Scheme.
The Independent T.D. for North Tipperary has highlighted the fact that some announcement was to be made on this scheme by late July or the beginning of August but farmers are still in the dark as to the mechanics and operation of this scheme. This, Deputy Lowry explained, puts the September closing date in doubt and indicated that it will be some time before this payment is delivered to farmers.
Deputy Lowry explained;
“As it stands we have a huge number of farmers coming out of REPS 3, who as of yet have no information on whether an agri-environmental scheme will be available to them. Over 13,000 farmers are now facing this predicament during one of the most difficult years for farmers. Farm incomes have already taken a direct and considerable hit as a result of the on-going poor weather and an increase in fuel and feeding costs. Farmers are crying out for some support and the deliverance of payments owed to them without delay, yet we still see the Minister dragging his heels on this matter.”
“The Minister must prove him commitment to those lower income farmers who are struggling and must take action as a priority. It is essential that he proves his dedication to protecting such by advancing this AEOS scheme. Additionally the on-going delay in processing outstanding AEOS payments is causing huge distress and upset for farmers and should be tackled by the Minister.”