GLAS scheme awaiting European approval

GLAS — the Department of Agriculture’s new agri environmental scheme — is awaiting final approval from the European Commission in Brussels as part of the Rural Development Programme — 2014 to 2020.

Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney told the Dáil his officials have very recently received observations from the commission on the draft programme and will respond to those as soon as possible.

He had been asked by Deputy Michelle Mulherin if he would confirm the start-up date for the scheme.

This was a matter of urgency as many farmers had inished the rural environment protection scheme and were substantially down on their income, she said.

In a written reply, Mr Coveney indicated that he was not in position at this stage to confirm a start-up date.

“It is my intention that the scheme will be rolled-out very quickly after commission approval is received and it is my expectation that contracts will commence in 2015,” Mr Coveney stated.


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