The IFA wants action on RDP

The IFA has called for the final discussions on Ireland's Rural Development Plan (RDP) to be speeded up so that the country's final submission to the European Commission can be made as soon as possible.

IFA rural development chairman Flor McCarthy said that with the consultation phase on Ireland's plan completed, the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, must now move to finalise the detail of the RDP as quickly as possible.

"IFA has already made a detailed submission across all measures following the draft proposals which were published by the Minister last January. There are many issues to be resolved before the formal submission to Brussels and it is now vital that the details are thrashed out well in advance," Mr McCarthy said.

"EU Commission officials have told IFA that schemes can be implemented later in the year provided there is sufficient time to examine each country's case," Mr McCarthy added.

FARMER AWARDS ARE EXTENDED

In recognition of the difficulties being faced by farmers as a result of the atrocious weather, the closing date for the Zurich Farmer of the Year awards has been extended to Friday, March 14.

With €25,000 on offer in prizes, there has been strong entries for all eight categories.

Be sure to get your entry in before Friday week's deadline.

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