An average payment rate of €4,700 over 10ha has been proposed under a new agri-environmental pilot scheme - with potential for a maximum payment of just under €7,000, it has emerged.
Addressing the Joint Oireachtas Agriculture Committee, the Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue, provided an update on the much-talked-about looming scheme which is currently being considered at European Commission level.
He stated that the objective with the scheme is that it would be “paid and measured on 10ha of land”.
“My objective is to try to ensure that all types of farmers - whether large or small - have a full opportunity to engage in the scheme and to benefit to the fullest extent. A farmer with 10ha will have the same opportunity to earn an income through the scheme as a farmer with 100ac.
"The estimate would be that the average payment under the scheme would be €4,700, with the potential for a payment coming in at just under €7,000,” he said.
The average payment rate, he says, would be on the basis of “income foregone or expenditure approved”.
"While there will be expenses - undoubtedly because it's results-based in terms of an outlay, and in terms of a charge for the agriculture consultant. But you’re still talking €4,700 to begin with over 10ha - and one of the measures, for example, that we have proposed for consideration is low input permanent pasture on that 10ha and that being the anchor option.
"So, for farmers that would apply if, for example, that farmer has €260/ha average basic payment and €148/ha under ANC you’re talking, on that first 10ha, of a farmer having potentially payments over €800/ha before they put a sheep or lamb, cow or a calf onto the land.
“I think that would be quite attractive and a very good start for farmers and farm families. Every farmer can make a significant contribution in terms of measures on biodiversity and the environment."
After much political wrangling over the name of the upcoming pilot, the minister recently stressed to The Farming Independent that the new pilot is “not the new successor of REPS, AEOS or GLAS” but is an initiative which will be used to better inform the approach to the new agri-environmental scheme to replace GLAS in the new CAP.
The new pilot programme is a results-based scheme where farmers will be rewarded for carrying out actions that benefit the environment, while rewarding those who are already making positive environmental impacts.
The pilot programme will run between now and the new CAP in 2023.
Source – The Irish Independent