Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD.
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD, has launched the third tranche of the Green, Low-carbon, Agri-environmental Scheme (GLAS).
A total of 38,000 participants have been approved to the first two tranches of GLAS. The overall target for GLAS is to attract at least 50,000 farmers into the scheme over its lifetime.
Despite concerns raised about the scheme by farming organisations, Minister Creed remains positive about GLAS noting that "on the basis of the 38,000 GLAS plans approved to date, we have already met or exceeded the Rural Development Programme targets for some actions".
For the third and final tranche of GLAS, a small number of adjustments are being made to the actions available under the second tranche. Some, will make it easier for farmers to adapt to the new regimes required, and will encourage greater uptake of measures. Others respond to the fact that we have achieved or exceeded targets in some areas, explained Minister Creed.
“Our top priority remains to attract farmers with Tier One Environmental Assets, like endangered birds, Natura habitat, commonage land and high-status watercourses. Farmers are urged to present the highest standard environmental plans under GLAS 3 and to adopt actions that would promote them to from Tier 3 to a higher tier to increase their chance of selection into the scheme. Over 80% of applicants in the second tranche of GLAS opted to do so and were approved," he said.
The Terms and Conditions for the third Tranche of GLAS, along with the detailed Specification for Tranche 3 actions have already been published and farmers and their advisors are asked to read these carefully.
The live online system for applications will be opened this week and will remain open for six weeks.