With recent meetings taking place between officials from the Department of Agriculture and numerous inspectors with regards eligibility of commonage, mountain and other lands for grant payments, TD Michael Fitzmaurice had his say on the matter.
According to Michael Fitzmaurice he has heard that a lot of land will be eliminated from schemes as part of newly planned proposals. He claims this would result in wet lands, only suitable for sheep farming, being ruled out of any grants.
Mr. Fitzmaurice said “It is my information that a lot of land will be wiped off the map if the proposals I have heard about from that meeting are accepted. For example wet land that can be accessed by sheep but not by cattle would be ruled out for any grants and the whole area of mountain land and commonage is in the firing line now. This is a totally unacceptable situation if my information is correct".
He went on to say if these proposals are in fact accepted that it would result in numerous lands being eliminated from grant schemes and ultimately lead to many farmers losing grant payments, he said “If the proposals that I have heard about are accepted then a lot of land will be ineligible in the future. For example areas of mountain land that has not been eaten could be ruled out and anyone who knows about this type of land will know that destocking on a lot of these lands took place under the direction of the Department a long time ago. There are serious implications in these proposals for land that is 'water vulnerable’”.
He called on the department to make a statement to clear up the matter as he feels it is putting the security of many farmers under threat.
He also called for Ireland’s numerous agriculture organisations to monitor the situation closely, he said “The Department need to make a statement to clear up this situation as there is a threat to a lot of marginal land after the proposals allegedly made at this training day for inspectors in the West. I am calling also for the farming organisations to step up to the plate on this issue and closely monitor this situation and I will be raising this matter with the Department and the Minister at my earliest opportunity".
And in other news Mr. fitzamurice also called for action for Ireland's Grain farmers.
We brought you the story earlier in the week of the troubles facing irelandsa grain farmers with last year's yield reductions and prices losses.
Michael Fitzmaurice TD commented on the situation facing the grain farmers saying that they have yet to be compensated for last years losses.
He added that the wait is still on for the Department to follow through on their word to look through proposals, and said the loan scheme agreed is of little benefit to the farmers, ""With the harvest fast approaching once again the grain farmers that were so badly affected last year have not yet been compensated for their losses which is totally unacceptable. The Department said that they were looking at proposals earlier this year but I maintain that it is well beyond time that these farmers were looked after."
He said "The loan scheme agreed is of little or no benefit to farmers who lost most of their income last year. I am asking Minister Creed and the Department to make an immediate announcement with regard to a compensation scheme to put these farmers out of their misery.
He concluded by saying he is puuting pressure for a resolution from the department, "Many of the farmers affected are in the West of Ireland and I will be putting pressure on the Minister and the department to deliver on this issue".