Farmers not happy with ANC map urged to make appeals

The IFA is calling on the Minister for Agriculture to set up an appeals process without delay to deal with areas not included in the latest map of ANCs, or areas of natural constraint.

IFA Deputy President Richard Kennedy said the process of ANC classification has thrown up some anomalies.

He said the focus for the Minister should now be on the appointment of an independent chairman and getting the process moving as quickly as possible.

An IFA delegation has already met with Dept. of Agriculture officials on the outcome of the ANC review and the increase in ANC payment rates for the 2019 Scheme.

This arises from the recent Budget decision to increase the allocation by €23m to a total of €250m for next year.

IFA Rural Development Chairman Joe Brady has told the Department that the increase for next year must reflect natural hardship, under the existing classifications.

In relation to the review, the Dept. of Agriculture confirmed to IFA that around 4,000 additional farmers will qualify for payment on an additional 200,000ha of land. This land will be classified as Less Severely Handicapped area.

The net effect of the Review is that the amount of land designated as ANC will increase by around 3%.

However, IFA National Hill Farming Chairman Flor McCarthy said the 32,000 farmers with mountain grazing area will again get the highest increase in payment for 2019 as they did in 2018.

Currently the maximum payment in hill areas is €4,038 and this will continue to rise in 2019.

The IFA Hill Committee will continue to lobby for further increases for hill farmers in the next CAP reform from 2020 so the maximum payment continues to rise.

Richard Kennedy said the ANC Scheme is a vital support to farmers in difficult land areas . . .and he urged farmers who have been excluded or were not included to appeal.