€1.85 per hectare ANCS payment to farmers

Scheme ‘focussed on ensuring continued use of agricultural lands…’

Sligo News File Online

Tony McLoughlin, TD, Fine Gael, Sligo-Leitrim
Tony McLoughlin, TD,
Fine Gael, Sligo-Leitrim

Sligo-Leitrim TD, Tony McLoughlin has welcomed the release of payments to farmers under the Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme, formerly known as the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme.

Farmers in Sligo-Leitrim will receive about €1.85 per hectare per week, which is roughly equal in value to the price of a sliced pan.

The allocation to the 4,243 farmers amounts in total to €8,765,425, and is being made as incomes in the dairy sector, beef and sheep plummet to one of the lowest levels on record.

Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, who just last April reportedly stated that the industry would see a surge in milk farming and the creation of 5,000 rural jobs as a result of an anticipated economic boom, is upbeat about the Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme.

Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, TD.
Minister for Agriculture,
Simon Coveney, TD.

Launching it, he said the provision for 2015 was focussed on “ensuring the continued use of agricultural lands, the maintaining of the countryside, the protection of the environment and promotion of sustainable farming system.”

He also noted that post 2018, a new delineation using physical characteristics will be carried out, which for Ireland will be:

Soil Moisture Balance (trafficability)
Soil Drainage;
Slopes;
Soil rooting and Depth;
Soil Texture;
Organic Matter.

Deputy McLoughlin said “Fine Gael’s top priority is to secure the economic recovery.

“We have a clear plan to build a strong economy generating the resources to invest in the services that people depend on and part of this plan includes driving the agri-food sector forward.”

The ANCS rate for the achievement of all of this looks set to stay at €1.85 per hectare per week.