Fulfil promise on ANC funding, Government told
Farmers have called for the promises laid out in the Programme for Government to increase the Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC) funding by €25m to be fulfilled in the Budget.
The INHFA said this would increase the overall spend from €195m to €220m in the 2018 ANC scheme.
INHFA president Colm O'Donnell said the monies must be targeted towards the lands with the highest level of natural constraint to address the current imbalance in the rates of payment.
After meeting with Agriculture Minister Michael Creed, the ICSA said farmers were among the first to suffer austerity cuts.
The ICSA's Seamus Sherlock said the disadvantaged area payment was seen as an "easy target" in 2008 when expenditure was cut from €257m to €220m. A second cut followed, bringing it down to €195m.
"Those impacted were the most vulnerable in the farming community and it is high time to begin the process of reversing these cuts in full," he said.
The IFA has also pressed Mr Creed to restore funding cuts to the ANC.
IFA president Joe Healy said the funding to those working in marginal areas in poor land must be increased.