ó Cuív to launch 'fairer' GLAS counter-proposal
OPPOSITION is mounting against the new environmental scheme launched by Minister Coveney last week.
GLAS is designed to replace REPS and AEOS, with a maximum payment per farmer of €5,000, along with top-ups for those working in very sensitive areas.
But opinions are divided about the attractiveness of the scheme, with Fianna Fail's agriculture spokesman, Eamonn Ó Cuív, pointing to the difficulty that many farmers on commonage may have in qualifying for the scheme.
The uplands conservation action outlined in the GLAS proposals requires that at least 80pc of farmers in a commonage form a grazing association and apply as a collective in order to qualify.
"This package is totally inequitable and seriously skewed towards the needs of the most commercial farmers at the expense of those who are more dependent on direct payments for a living," said Deputy Ó Cuív.
The Galway West TD said he would be launching counter proposals this week and setting out what he described as "a fairer mechanism" for distributing payments.
He said he would undertake a series of public meetings in venues right around the country to highlight how CAP funds could be distributed in a manner which would be of greater benefit to the wider farming community.
The ICSA president, Gabriel Gilmartin was also critical of the scheme, pointing out that it was open to very intensive farmers that were using up to 170kg of nitrogen per hectare.