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New Agri-Environment Scheme from 2010

Minister emphasises Government's ongoing commitment to environmentally sustainable farming

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith, T.D., has reiterated that a new agri-environment scheme will be introduced next year, which will be targeted at those farmers completing their REPS 3 contracts.

The new scheme, which will be funded through modulated funds and the European Economic Recovery Programme as well as the Exchequer will impose fewer obligations and lower compliance costs on farmers.  The Minister said that the scheme will have the aim of producing tangible environmental benefits.

Minister Smith said "the total funding for the new agri-environment scheme and the level of individual payments will be determined when the Estimates for next year are finalised. At 62,000 participants, the highest ever since REPS began, I had no option but to close it to new entrants as it was over subscribed. I want to emphasise the point that thousands of farmers will continue to receive payments under REPS as part of their five-year contracts. This includes the 17,000 participants who came into the scheme this year and will be part of it for the next five years.

I am well aware and fully appreciate the concerns being expressed and have met with representatives of the farming".

Date Released: 18 July 2009