Wetlands CAP proposal may hurt farmers

Declan O'Brien

Declan O'Brien

The classification of peatlands and wetlands as 'carbon rich soils' under the current CAP proposals will have serious implications for farmers working this ground, the INHFA has warned.

INHFA president Colm O'Donnell claimed that proposals from the European Commission regarding these lands will result in more stringent restrictions in terms of draining and working this ground.

A restrictive management regime for wetlands and peatlands could also limit the ability of those farming this ground to access environmental schemes, Mr O'Donnell maintained.

Since environmental schemes under the reformed CAP will have to add value in terms of the natural environment, it could prove difficult to design such programmes if the management of wetlands is already severely restricted.

The INHFA has also voiced concern regarding a proposal under the Basic Income Support Scheme (BISS) - which replaces the Basic Payment Scheme - that will require farmers to draft a nutrient management plan (NMP).

The INHFA argues that the proposal to include provision of a NMP under the BISS will increase application costs for farmers and further restrict the development of accessible schemes such as REPS.

Mr O'Donnell said INHFA is proposing a number of amendments to the Commission's CAP proposals which are expected to be debated by the European Parliament early next month.

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