The Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) has called for a farm retirement scheme to be implemented in the next CAP.
Such a scheme would need to put a clear farm succession plan in place, it said. “This is a critical component if we are to have young talent enter farming,” the INHFA has said.
On Natura 2000 lands, Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) and Special Protection Areas (SPA), the INHFA said that these lands, based on the EU’s nature fitness check, are delivering between €2bn and €3bn annually to the economy.
“The total annual payment through GLAS of €6m [for these lands] is insulting and must be addressed in the new CAP. Article 67 allows for a specific payment on these lands and we are calling for a payment of €150/ha on all Natura lands in recognition of the burden that has been imposed on them. This payment should be seen as separate to any management payment which can be made through an agri-environmental scheme,” it said.
It added that access to the REAP scheme is not available to farmers on commonage lands and privately owned lands with heather and it wants “suitable measures” to be available in all future agri-environment schemes for farmers with this land.