GLAS gets the green light from Brussels
Published 22/04/2015 | 02:30
GLAS application submissions can begin this week following the formal approval of the Rural Development Programme by the EU over the weekend.
The 'letter of comfort' from Commission officials allows a roll-out of all the €4bn programme over the next seven years, with €2.2bn coming from EU coffers.
However, advisors remain divided as to whether the GLAS scheme is fit to deliver €250m annually into farmers' pockets.
Some advisors claim that they will not be able to cope with more than half of the farmers that will be looking for Commonage Management Plans to be completed by July 3.
"There's just no way that I'll be able to find the time to sit down with farmers and hammer out all the commonage plans required by the cut-off date," said Donegal advisor, Brian Dolan.
"I'd say that more than 50pc are going to miss out, mainly the guys that I've never dealt with before, because they are the most time consuming."
Mr Dolan believes that the peripheral location of many commonage farmers will make them unattractive to planners outside the regions that have extra resources.
A Teagasc spokesman admitted that Teagasc would not be offering a blanket service to farmers unable to access private advisors.