IFA says start-up dates for Rural Development projects now urgent

A number of outstanding concerns relating to the new Rural Development Programme need to be urgently addressed by Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney.

The call was made Irish Farmers Association Connacht Regional Chairman, Tom Turley after a meeting of farmers in Tuam, Co Galway.

He said the over-riding priority must be that GLAS, the new agri-environmental programme, and TAMS, the targeted agricultural modernisation scheme, are open before year end.

Funding must be delivered in the October budget so that up to 30,000 farmers are paid a full-year payment in 2015.

Mr Turley again called on the Minister to announce a start-up date for the Commonage Implementation Committee.

The Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) has also called on Minister Coveney to ensure his Department processes and approves all outstanding Dairy Equipment Scheme applications before September 1.

ICMSA Farm Services and Environment Committee chairperson, Patrick Rohan said it was hugely important that approval was granted for all valid applications as soon as possible.

This is necessary to allow farmers to plan for work to be carried out over the winter months and to ensure that parlours are up-and-running again for the busy spring period.

“Dairy farmers have a very short ‘window’ while cows are dry to carry out work on milking parlours, and it is crucial these applicants are informed without delay if they qualify for grant-aid or not,” he said.

Mr Rohan also urged any applicants who have received correspondence from the Department, requesting additional information, to respond without delay to ensure speedy approval so they can commence necessary works.


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