Earlier this year, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue opened a call for applications under the Results Based Environment Agri Pilot Programme (REAP) project.
An eager response from farmers resulted in the approval of just under 5,000 participants.
The REAP project is designed to trial the results-based model across Ireland, as well as to test the feasibility and upscaling of the model as part of the next national agri-environment scheme to follow on from GLAS.
The project is an integral part of the delivery the Department’s Agriculture, Food and the Marine Action Plan 2021.
Advisers are currently working on identifying suitable REAP fields
Land included in REAP must be assessed and scored by Department-trained REAP advisers, with year one assessments well under way to determine land environmental biodiversity.
Advisers are currently working on identifying suitable REAP fields in an exercise that would see 46,000ha added into the project.
Farmers will work with their advisers and undertake environmental works with the aim of increasing the environmental value of their land and improving their environmental score in 2022.
Farms with the highest scoring will receive the highest payment.
REAP assessments and land scorings must be submitted to the Department’s GLAM system by advisers by 15 August in order for farmers to participate in the project and avoid any penalties.
Minister McConalogue said: “I am delighted that the REAP project is now well under way. This project will prepare Irish agriculture to engage in the results-based approach which I expect to feature in the new CAP.
"The incentive-based approach will support farmers in the delivery of environmental benefits. REAP also supports farm incomes by providing up to €12,600 to participating farms over the term of the REAP contract.”
“To ensure the success of REAP, all participants and their advisers are reminded to submit their field assessments and scoring details to the Department by the August 15 deadline,” he added.
The Irish Farmers Journal was contacted by a number of advisers on Friday querying if an extension to the deadline date was likely. The advisers in question highlighted that the scheme was closing on a Sunday with no Department staff on duty over the weekend to deal with any queries or to provide assistance if required.
Click here for full details of the REAP project.
Further information on the Department’s Agriculture, Food and Marine Action Plan 2021 can be found here.