Macra na Feirme National President John Keane
Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue T.D. recently announced the launch of a tender process for the management of co-operation projects under the new Agri-Environmental Climate Measure (ACEM) under the next CAP from 2023.
Eight different areas have been specified and farmers from these regions can apply for projects under the AECM, while leaving out a significant proportion of the country. The number of farmers who are permitted in the general AECM is proposed to be 30,000.
Over the past number of years Macra na Feirme has called for results-based agri-environmental schemes and measures which are inclusive, accessible, progressive and complementary.
“We are disappointed that future focused young farmers outside of the eligible areas have not been facilitated by the co-operation portion of the scheme.
“Farmers in almost the entire midlands of the country and the east have no opportunity to join the scheme. Many young farmers have the ambition to meet the environmental targets,” said Macra na Feirme National President John Keane.
Counties such as Kilkenny, Westmeath, Longford and Kildare have no areas under this scheme.
“The question is: why have these areas been left out of the scheme? From the map, we can’t even tell if the BRIDE Valley project area is covered by this scheme. A great project with demonstrated results over the past number of years which is also supported through an EIP,” continued Mr Keane.
Macra na Feirme has previously highlighted that as many farmers as possible must have the opportunity to enter this scheme along with other environmental schemes.
“Given the size of the area of the country that is not covered by the co-operation project, Minister McConalogue needs to find further funding to expand both measures,” concluded Mr Keane.
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