ICSA claims new AEOS payments are out of touch
Payments to farmers under the proposed new Agricultural Environment Options Scheme (AEOS) are out of touch with reality, the ICSA has claimed.
The payment for maintaining a dry stonewall, set at €50 per 100m by Department of Agriculture officials, is not realistic when compared to the actual cost of employing someone to carry out the works, the organisation has insisted.
ICSA president Gabriel Gilmartin said the scheme does not offer sufficient incentives for farmers to participate.
Mr Gilmartin was speaking following a meeting with Minister for Agriculture Brendan Smith where the ICSA delegation lobbied for a more meaningful and relevant agri-environment scheme.
"We are also very disappointed that planners with environmental qualifications will be needed for farmers on designated areas, despite the fact that it had been indicated that the costs of planners would have been eliminated from the new scheme," he said.
He insisted that there was no way that farmers could sustain planner costs for a scheme that wasn't delivering sufficient returns.
It is understood Minister Smith is due to meet other farm organisations in the coming week.
Meanwhile, IFA rural development committee chairman Tom Turley said that the proposed AEOS was unworkable unless major changes were made to the specifications used to implement the scheme.