ICSA met with Department officials today to discuss the new arrangements for the ANC scheme in 2019 following the publication of the new eligibility maps. ICSA rural development chairman Seamus Sherlock said that ICSA wants to see higher payments for farmers who are most in need on poorer land.
There is an additional €23 million available for the 2019 scheme, which is a restoration of austerity cuts. “Some of this will be needed to cover the newly eligible ground. However, there will be approximately €10-11 million left to give a slight increase to existing farmers. ICSA wants to see this targeted at farmers who have the biggest challenges in terms of land quality. The last change saw extra payments made to mountain areas and we support that continuing. We now also want to see farmers on difficult and heavy land getting more.”
“The problem is that the overall scheme needs a significant injection of funding to cover the fact that so many farmers are eligible and that there has been no attempt to ensure funding keeps pace with inflation. This is a matter that will have to be addressed in the CAP reform.”
ICSA is pleased that there will be an independent appeals process for farmers affected by the 2% of existing areas that are potentially losing disadvantaged area status. “The ANC payment is very important to farmers and any farmer affected must have every opportunity to make their case. It is also essential that changes are only phased in over a number of years, where farmers are negatively impacted.”
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