Farmers set to find out disadvantaged area status within weeks
The ANC payment can amount to about €4,000 for many farmers across the country.
Farmers are set to find out whether they will be eligible for future ‘disadvantaged area’ payments within weeks.
Work is ongoing in the Department of Agriculture to produce a new map of areas which are deemed to be eligible for payments under the Areas of Natural Constraints (ANC) scheme formerly known as disadvantaged areas.
Payments under the scheme can be as high as €4,000.
Under the new system of designation that must be introduced in 2018, eligible areas will have to be designated on the basis of biophysical criteria.
The criteria set out in the legislation are low temperature; dryness; excess soil moisture; limited soil drainage; unfavourable texture and stoniness; shallow rooting depth; poor chemical properties; and steep slope.
The Department has commenced work on this project and relevant technical experts are sourcing and analysing the data in respect of the new criteria.
This analysis will identify areas deemed to be facing natural constraints, which will in parallel be subjected to a refinement process.
Once this process is complete, the draft data will provide the basis for the identification of eligible areas for ANC.