IFA National Sheep Committee Chairperson, James Murphy, is urging sheep farmers to immediately apply for the new Sheep Discussion Group Programme.
Speaking to the Leitrim Observer, he said IFA recently met the Department of Agriculture and made it clear that the STAP Programme needs to be kept as simple as possible and at the same time be effective in increasing profitability on sheep farms.
“IFA has made it clear to the Department that individual producers who participate in the programme must be eligible to receive a payment of up to €1,000 per annum for a 3-year period,” said Mr Murphy.
The Department has confirmed to IFA that farmers already participating in the Beef Discussion Group Programme (BTAP) may also participate in the new Sheep Discussion Group Programme and receive full separate payment. With the exception of a small number of the options available under both schemes, the programmes are separate.
The IFA sheep farmers’ leader said it is very important that the STAP programme accommodates all types of sheep farmers, including early and mid-season lamb producers, store and hill sheep producers.