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ANC increase targets smaller hill farms
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ANC increase targets smaller hill farms

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The Department of Agriculture has set payment rates for the Areas of Natural Constraints (ANC) scheme, including this year's €25m budget increase.
The Department of Agriculture has set payment rates for the Areas of Natural Constraints (ANC) scheme, including this year's €25m budget increase.

Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has decided to target more than half of the additional funding towards smaller hill farms.

Changes in payment rates for this year are as follows:

  • On mountain-type land: the payment for the first 10ha increases to €135/ha from €109.72/ha previously. The next 24ha will attract €112, up from €95.99 previously. This means the maximum payment for a hill farmer with 34ha or more of eligible land is now €4038.
  • On more severely handicapped lowland: the rate is also €104/ha, increasing from €95.99/ha. The maximum payment for 30ha in this category is now €3,120
  • Less severely handicapped land: will receive a payment of €88.25, up from €82.27/ha last year. This brings the maxium 30ha payment to €2,647.50
  • IFA response

    An IFA calculation shows that more than half of the additional €25m will go to hill farmers, who represent 33,000 of nearly 100,000 farmers participating in the ANC scheme. IFA hill committee chair Flor McCarthy welcomed the allocation, saying that hill areas are the most difficult land areas in the country.

    The new rates must now receive European Commission approval through a formal amendment to the Rural Development Programme before payment at the end of this year.

    The additional €25m brings the scheme's budget for this year to €227m. Farming organisations continue to demand the full restoration of pre-recession funding of €250m per year ahead of the full review of the ANC eligibility map to apply next year.

    Read more

    Watch: French protests over prices and ANC map

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