All eligible farmers will be accepted in GLAS

Assurances given this week

Farming correspondent

Reporter:

Farming correspondent

Furious Donegal farmers blast missed payment deadlines

ICSA Rural Development Chairperson, Seamus Sherlock, has welcomed the news that all eligible farmers will be accepted into GLAS III.

Speaking following the announcement by Minister Creed that 12,400 applicants have met the requirements of the scheme and will receive approval letters in the next week Mr Sherlock said: “ICSA has been lobbying hard for this. GLAS has proven to be a hugely popular scheme and I am pleased the Minister Creed has decided not to deny any eligible farmers this much needed income source despite the scheme being oversubscribed.”

The remaining 1,600 applications require further checks however all those eligible will be entitled to participate in the scheme.

Mr Sherlock expressed hope these new entrants won’t have to endure the same delays in payment as are currently being experienced with GLAS I and GLAS II.

“The wait goes on for up to 8,000 farmers. It is totally unacceptable that only a few hundred farmers per week are receiving payment. At this rate it could take months to clear the backlog,” he said adding the Department needs to ensure these delays never happen again.

Pat Gilhooley, Leitrim IFA Rural Development Chairperson agrees there must be a significant acceleration of GLAS payments.

Mr Gilhooley said it is absolutely unacceptable that farmers who joined the GLAS scheme almost two years ago, and who were promised payments last October, are still waiting with no definite answers as to when they can expect to get paid.

He called on the Minister for Agriculture to pursue the IFA proposal that all farmers awaiting GLAS payments be paid with any issues surrounding plans sorted out later.

IFA has urged the Department that where particular measures in a GLAS plan are cleared, payments should be made to farmers on these qualifying measures, even where there are issues with other measures in the plan.