Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Thursday 21 September 2017

Farmers could get up to €30,000 for flooded farmyards

Ferrying neighbours through the floods at Mukanagh, Athlone in 2015. Picture: Fergal Phillips
Ferrying neighbours through the floods at Mukanagh, Athlone in 2015. Picture: Fergal Phillips
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

New criteria has been issued by the Office of Public Works (OPW) for determining what projects will get supported under the Minor Flood Mitigation Works and Coastal Protection Scheme. 

The criteria has been welcomed by the IFA which said farmers and farmland had been discriminated against in the eligibility-benefit analysis as the calculation to determine whether funding was made available for flood defence works, or measures to alleviate flooding, did not account for the agricultural losses resulting from flooding.

Under the new criteria, the figures for calculating the losses on a per hectare basis have been increased from a flat rate of €400 per hectare to a range from €623 to €1,474 depending on where the land is located and related to the losses associated with flooding.

In the old criteria there was no recognition of farmyards under threat or where they were flooded. Farmyards will now be included in the same way as commercial premises at a rate of up to €30,000 where the farmyard is flooded or up to €10,000 where the farmyard is under threat.

Donal Hynes who farms near Annacotty, Co Limerick estimates that he lost a quarter of his productive land for the year due to winter flooding in 2016. Picture: Sean Curtin/Fusionshooters.
Donal Hynes who farms near Annacotty, Co Limerick estimates that he lost a quarter of his productive land for the year due to winter flooding in 2016. Picture: Sean Curtin/Fusionshooters.

The Minister of State for the Office of Public Works (OPW) and Flood Relief, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran said the scheme which has been in place since 2009 and following the 2015/2016 floods, a review of its operations was considered timely. 

"My Office, conducted this review, in consultation with stakeholders such as the local authorities, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the IFA. 

"I am pleased to note that many of the concerns of these stakeholders were taken into account in the review. 

"For example, the upper financial threshold has been increased substantially from €500,000-€750,000 and allowances have been updated to reflect different property types, with the inclusion of farm yard/buildings as commercial premises”.

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Minister Moran also said that he is delighted to confirm that the assessment of value of agricultural land has been updated using the Standard Farm Output Figure from the CSO Census of Agriculture 2013. 

This will provide more reliable data for each county on a regional basis for the calculation of benefit attached to agricultural land.

Local authorities who operate the Minor Works scheme will be using the new criteria from June 1st 2017.

IFA Flood Project Chairman Padraic Joyce has welcomed the the work that former Minister for OPW Sean Canney did in his year-long tenure at the OPW and said IFA looks forward to working with the new Minister, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran to ensure effective implementation of the scheme.

“It is important that minor works projects that have been turned down in the past are now reassessed based on the new criteria. These areas should include areas adjacent to rivers subject to flooding, turloughs, and coastal areas”, Padraic Joyce said.

Online Editors