IFA lobby Kenny on new AEOS scheme
Hopes that an AEOS scheme can be re-opened were reignited at the weekend following an hour-long meeting in Mayo between Taoiseach Enda Kenny and an IFA delegation.
Mr Kenny will now hold talks with Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney over the coming days following intensive lobbying by IFA president John Bryan, vice president Padraig Divilly and the five Connacht county chairmen about the impact of agricultural scheme cuts on their livelihoods.
After the meeting, Mr Bryan said the Taoiseach had an understanding of the pressures on farmers and had committed to discussing farmer concerns on a new AEOS scheme, Disadvantaged Areas anomalies and TB restrictions with the Minister for Agriculture in the coming days.
Farmers in the west who have left REPS 3 and have no AEOS scheme to enter have suffered the loss of nearly €27m, according to the IFA. Over 4,000 farmers in Connacht and 13,000 nationwide are currently without an environmental scheme.
"This is a major blow to the local economy in each county. A replacement AEOS scheme would help to reduce the negative impact of this for low-income farmers across the country," the IFA leader said.