Business Farming

Friday 19 September 2014

Association fails to respond to accusations by hill farmers

Declan O'Brien

Published 29/07/2014 | 00:00

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Simon Coveney
Simon Coveney

The IFA failed to respond to the accusation that the national leadership of the farmer body had 'sold out' hill and commonage farmers by agreeing to the Department of Agriculture's proposals on the new GLAS scheme.

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When contacted by the Farming Independent regarding the mounting anger within the IFA over the collective agreement on commonages and reduced payments on Natura land, a spokesman for association said the issues were being addressed.

However, he declined to comment on the specific points raised by the western IFA representatives, and claimed that these were covered in a statement released by the association's national hill chairman, Pat Dunne.

In the statement, Mr Dunne called on Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney to get the Commonage Implementation Group up and working without delay as commonage farmers are in the dark about their position in the run-up to the implementation of the new CAP for both Pillar I and Pillar II in 2015.

"There are complex issues to be addressed before the new CAP/RDP is implemented. Flexibilities must be allowed to avoid a 'one size fits all' approach, as there are many variables between farms, within counties, and in different regions of the country," Mr Dunne said.

He said the Natura payment of €79/ha has to be increased in line with other designated areas, such as hen harrier and chough.

Mr Dunne called on Minister Coveney to organise a series of Department meetings around the country to outline his plans for commonages.

"A planned meeting in Tuam tonight will discuss the issues," he said.

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