Leaving farmers in dark over delayed farm plan payments unacceptable – IFA

IFA President Francie Gorman has called on Minister Malcolm Noonan to intervene and sort out delayed Farm Plan Scheme payments.

“I’m getting calls from farmers who are very frustrated and waiting weeks for payment. It’s completely unacceptable, and worse of all, no one knows where they stand,” Francie Gorman said.

“We understand the delays are being put down to admin/resourcing issues within the Department. It’s just not good enough.

“I’m calling on Minister Noonan to sort out this mess; make direct contact with farmers to let them know where they stand, and devote whatever resources is needed to clear the backlog.

“The Farm Plan scheme was one of the key actions within the recently launched National Biodiversity Plan but how can farmers have faith in a scheme when they are left in complete limbo?” the IFA President said.

The Farm Plan Scheme, launched in 2006, is administered by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and available for SAC/Designated Lands to trial novel approaches to farming for the environment, to safeguard particular sites, habitats and species, and to work towards meeting conservation measures required under the EU Birds and Habitats Directives.