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Sunday 11 December 2016

Coveney open to changes in BDGP scheme

Published 10/06/2015 | 02:30

The ICSA president Patrick Kent
The ICSA president Patrick Kent

AGRICULTURE Minister Simon Coveney has promised to make any "necessary changes" to the contentious suckler scheme if problems arise, as figures revealed 28,850 beef farmers have signed up.

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Mr Coveney has insisted farmers have "nothing to fear from the scheme", with a mid-term review to begin in as little as two-years time.

"If we have to go to the Commission for changes then we'll do that," he told the Farming Independent.

Almost 5,000 eleventh-hour applications were lodged for the controversial €52m Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) after the deadline was extended by a week.

Issues

It brings to 28,850 the number of applications lodged, which falls short of the 35,000 target initially set by the Agriculture Department.

However, farming bodies have continued to warn a significant number may still pull-out of the scheme unless key issues are addressed.

Both the ICSA and the IFA said farmers' continued to hold genuine concerns with aspects of the scheme.

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ICSA president Patrick Kent called on Minister Coveney to immediately "instigate a full review" of the scheme with farm organisations.

"I know there has been some friction and anger as farmers want me to change the scheme more fundamentally than I have," said Mr Coveney.

However, he insisted the aims of the suckler scheme had to be "ambitious".

Indo Farming



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