New figures reveal big regional variations on land inspections
GLAS delays undermining Farmers Charter - ICMSA
Figures released at the Farmers' Charter meeting show a massive regional variation in the level of land eligibility inspections carried out by the Department in 2015.
These inspections check the area of land farmed compared to that applied for under area-based schemes such as the Basic Payment Scheme and Areas of Natural Constraint.
While 779 farms were inspected in Galway and 653 in Cork, just 59 holdings were subject to inspection in Carlow and 82 in Meath.
Overall, 7,976 holdings were inspected nationally, with 1,296 having their eligible area reduced and/or being subject to a fine. This equates to 16pc of the total number inspected.
The counties which recorded the highest number of fines and/or reductions in eligible area were Mayo (135), Cork (125), Galway (112), and Kerry (109).
Meanwhile, GLAS payment delays have seriously undermined the Farmers' Charter of Rights, and a commitment to pay all outstanding monies by the end of April must be honoured, the ICMSA warned.
Department of Agriculture officials confirmed to the farm organisations at the Farmers' Charter of Rights committee meeting last week that outstanding GLAS payments to approximately 4,000 farmers would be completed by the end of this month.