The Minister for Agriculture needs to quickly get down to the grind in his new position and announce the details of the Agri Environment Options Scheme (AEOS) as he promised, according to Cork North West Fianna Fáil TD Michael Moynihan. Despite promising that the scheme would be announced last week, there is still no sign of the details being provided.
“This is very disappointing and frustrating news for Irish farmers who are waiting on the details of the new Agri Environment Options Scheme,” said Deputy Moynihan. “In the blaze of much publicity, Minister Coveney made a commitment to provide the details within the next week. We are now almost two weeks later and still no information has been provided.”
“The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) has already called on the Minister to immediately open the scheme with the 16 May closing date fast approaching. There were problems getting the AEOS ready in time last year because there was only a six week window available. The new Minister needs to take that into account and quickly get down to the grind of what his new position is all about, looking after the interests of Irish farmers.”
“If the details and funding aren’t in place soon we could see more farmers having to turn to farm assist as a means of getting by. Given that the scheme is made up of 50/50 EU and Exchequer funding, it makes sense to make use of the programme and provide it for our hard pressed agricultural community.”
“I am calling on Minister Coveney to live up to his promises and immediately release the details of the scheme. Irish farmers need to have clarity on this new programme and it is up to the Minister to deliver this quickly. As it is, he’s already failed to live up to his promise to introduce the scheme within a week,” Deputy Moynihan concluded.