Galway farmers under 40 years of age, who do not meet the five year rule and who cannot access installation aid - known as 'Forgotten Farmers' -will be the subject of a campaign by the new Government, for recognition from the European Commission.
This is according to Galway East Independent Alliance TD Seán Canney, who said the new Programme for Government, agreed between the Fine Gael-Independent coalition, contains measures to assist ‘Forgotten Farmers’ as well as a new scheme to support sheep farmers.
Dep Canney said farmers "across County Galway will agree" that the farm inspection system "needs to be simplified". As a result, preliminary checks are to be introduced to streamline payment systems, while measures will be pursued at EU level to "simplify the basic payment system for farmers". It is also intended to review the Agricultural Appeals Act 2001 to ensure the independence and efficiency of the Agricultural Appeals Office.
A mid-term review of the Rural Development Programme, which takes place later this year, will consider the current working arrangements for schemes such as Glas, TAMS, ANC, organic schemes, and the Beef Data and Genomics Programme. It is also intended to submit an amendment to the Rural Development Programme as soon as possible so that a scheme with a budget of €25 million can be provided for in next year’s budget. Consultation with farm bodies on the development of a new sheep scheme will get under way in coming weeks.
"Common sense measures are at the heart of the changes envisaged in this Programme for Government," said Dep Canney, "measures which will make the lives of farmers throughout the country somewhat easier in terms of the bureaucracy of farming, allowing them to focus on what they do best, which is producing top quality food."
Dep Canney is due to be informed tomorrow what junior ministerial portfolio he will hold in new Fine Gael-Independent coalition.