As eligibility requirements for the new Areas of Natural Constraints scheme (ANC) have remained unchanged from last year, Minister Creed has said donkeys will continue to be included in the stocking density as per T&Cs of the scheme. Although there have been some minor changes to the scheme, no major changes have been implemented.
To receive benefits from the scheme all farmers must hold a minimum stocking density of 0.15 units’ p/forage hectares. This is calculated over the course of the 12months of the scheme year.
The Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed has said that donkeys continue to be considered for inclusion in the stocking density as per the terms and conditions of the scheme
The scheme, which was first in place back in 1975, was first proposed to offer farmers facing difficulties such as, low productivity and high production costs, advice and support. It was specifically aimed at farmers with land in more challenging, expensive areas.
The ANC scheme offers support to the above-mentioned farmers by helping to contribute to the industries growth and the development of its agri-food sector.
Almost 100,000 of Irish farmers in disadvantaged farming areas are now in receipt of the annual payments from the scheme. Payments last year began in September, and since then over 200 million euro has been issued to approximately 95,000 farmers across the country.
Mr. Creed said that to meet the schemes criteria that farmers are now including donkeys on their lists.
This has led to an increase of 247 farmers including donkeys in their scheme applications. This is turn has led to the number of donkeys included rising to a whopping 2,878.