The president of the Irish Natura & Hill Farmers Association Vincent Roddy has welcomed the commitment given by Agriculture Minister and Donegal TD Charlie McConalogue to direct 25% of Pillar 1 payments towards the Eco-scheme.
Roddy said the commitment was given at a meeting held by the association in Donegal on Friday night which was attended by Minister McConalogue.
In his address to the meeting Minister McConalogue outlined his rationale on the new CAP Plan that included 85% convergence, a 10% front-loading of payments and an Eco-scheme payment involving 25% of the States Pillar 1 payment.
The INHFA President stressed the importance of avoiding mixed messages amid efforts to finalise Ireland’s CAP Plan.
Roddy said that over the last week they had “heard suggestions that the Eco-scheme budget could be reduced to help protect higher payment rates which is why the Minister’s clarification on this is vital.
The Minister also confirmed how he wants all farmers to be able access the Eco-scheme which is why he has instructed the Department to look at additional measures for farmers to choose from.
On this, Roddy welcomed the introduction of additional measures which are, he said, “vital in ensuring all farmers can access the scheme.”
With regard to payment rates, he stressed the need for a uniform payments that reflect the demands made of farmers.