A NUMBER of options for re-classifying less favoured areas (LFA) have been selected by the European Commission.
In place since 1975, when it was known in Ireland as the Disadvantaged Areas scheme, the LFA scheme is a broad-scale mechanism for maintaining the countryside in marginal areas.
As part of the EU’s new strategic approach, and taking into account Court of Auditors’ concerns, aid to farmers in less favoured areas has become part of Axis 2 of the Rural Development Policy, which was put in place in order to improve the environment and the countryside, by supporting sustainable land management.
However, agriculture minister failed in 2005 to agree a system for LFA classification more in line with the new policy objectives.
The Commission has reviewed the scheme and now invites proposals by interested parties.
This consultation will remain open until June 30.
See the http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/consultations/lfa/index_en.htm web page for details of how to make a submission.
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