Farm Ireland

Tuesday 16 January 2018

Meetings called on agri package

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

A series of public information meetings are to be held by Department of Agriculture officials to help farmers understand the Agri-Environment Options Scheme (AEOS).

The meetings begin this Thursday at the White Horse Hotel in Cootehill, Co Cavan.

Two meetings take place next Monday, April 12 in the Brandon Hotel, Tralee and the Tullamore Court Hotel in Tullamore.

Meetings in the Rochestown Park Hotel in Cork and the Great Northern Hotel in Bundoran, Co Donegal will take place on Tuesday, April 13.

The South Court Hotel in Limerick and Breaffy House Hotel in Castlebar are the venues for Wednesday, April 14.

Finally, Hotel Kilkenny in Kilkenny and the Clayton Hotel in Galway are the venues for Thursday, April 15. All meetings will commence at 8pm.

Huge attendances are expected at each meeting as farmers decide whether the controversial scheme will suit them.

Meanwhile, doubts have been cast over the prospect of planners being able to complete environment reports in time for the AEOS deadline of May 17.

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Advisers are already inundated with work for the SFP and area aid schemes, which also have a deadline of May 17.

Just 29 working days remain to complete an estimated 3,000 environment reports for farmers in NATURA and commonage areas. A further 7,000 application forms will also be compiled if there is full uptake on the €50m AEOS scheme.

Irish Independent