Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Niamh Smyth says she’s deeply disappointed that the Government has failed to increase payments under the Areas of Natural Constraint programme as part of Budget 2017.  Hundreds of farmers across Cavan and Monaghan are eligible for the scheme but will have to wait until 2018 at the earliest before they see their payment levels restored.

Deputy Smyth explained, “The ANC payment is extremely important to farmers in the Border region who are dealing with disadvantaged land.  The prominence of black and drummond soil and non-arable land makes farming in this region more challenging.  The high rainfall experienced over this summer has exacerbated an already difficult situation and farmers feel let down by the fact that the Government has failed to restore the ANC payments.  This is a key priority for Fianna Fáil.

“I’m pleased that progress has been made in the Farm Assist and Rural Social Scheme, and that the Beef Data and Genomics Programme has been reopened.  This is something that we had gotten a commitment on during our negotiations with Fine Gael in the aftermath of the General Election.

“We will continue to fight for farmers and it is imperative that any underspend in the Rural Development Plan will not result in a loss of funds for farmers.  We want to ensure that the full allocation is used within the current RDP window to 2020”.