Uncertainty around the EU’s budget means it is currently not possible to make decisions around the continuation of rural development programmes, Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has said.
A significant number of GLAS farmers have entered the final year of their contracts, which are due to expire on 31 December 2020.
Sinn Féin’s Martin Kenny asked the Minister if there were plans to extend GLAS until a new scheme was established in the new CAP.
The EU has been preparing transitional measures, as CAP reforms will not be complete in time.
Minister Creed said: “Ireland has pressed for the earliest possible adoption of this legislation, so that we can provide certainty to farmers and rural communities and plan for the transitional period with legal and financial certainty as soon as possible.”
He said any extension would depend on the appropriate budget being available, as well as sufficient time to allow administrative provisions to be put in place.
“The Department is currently considering these matters in the context of giving effect in due course to the transitional arrangements should they be adopted,” Creed said.
He also stressed that GLAS was a voluntary scheme and farmers would not be obliged to participate in any transitional arrangements that are put in place once they complete their five-year contract.
GLAS PLUS payments made to 3,200 farmers
Creed called on to open discussion on GLAS extension