Coveney open to changes in BDGP scheme
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.
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.
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.