Mayo Fine Gael Deputy Michelle Mulherin, has welcomed this week’s announcement by Minister for Agriculture and the Marine Simon Coveney of a €4 billion Rural Development Programme 2014-2020. Deputy Mulherin said: “Today’s announcement of €4 billion for the Rural Development Programme (RDP ) represents a significant investment in rural Ireland and will be a real boost for Mayo. The economic recovery is well under way in Dublin, thanks to the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs, however many people in rural Ireland are still struggling.
“Today’s announcement demonstrates the Government’s commitment to making the recovery local and ensuring that all counties across Ireland will benefit. Measures contained in today’s RDP announcement represent a significant investment in rural Ireland and in the agri-food sector in particular. Over the lifetime of the RDP €1,450 million will be invested in the Agri- Environment Scheme (GLAS ). This will provide for a maximum payment of €5,000 for up to 50,000 farmers and it is anticipated that some 25,000 - 30,000 farmers will be accepted into the scheme in 2015. In addition to the basic GLAS, farmers who take on particularly challenging environmental actions may qualify for a top up payment of up to €2,000 per annum under GLAS+.”
She continued: “Over €1.3 billion will be invested in Areas of Natural Constraint [formerly known as the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme]. The new scheme will include a top up payment for island farmers who face unique challenges. A further €395 million will be made available through the new Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS ) II. Minister Coveney has said that he intends to prioritise dairy equipment, beef and sheep handling equipment, pigs and poultry, slurry on tillage farms, and low emissions spreading equipment for this scheme.” Mulherin concluded: “I strongly welcome the significant step forward for farmers represented by today’s RDP announcement. It is time for rural Ireland to feel the benefits of the economic recovery and to grow again.”