Latest Laois News: Laois farmers urged to get involved in Agri-Environment Pilot
Minister McConalogue opens public consultation on new Agri-Environment Pilot
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D., has today announced the opening of public consultation on the development of a new agri-environment results-based pilot project.
The Programme for Government commits to rewarding farmers for adapting to more sustainable methods of farming and to the development of a new agri-environment scheme capable of delivering broad environmental and biodiversity benefits that will align financial supports with climate objectives. To advance this objective funding has been made available for 2021 for a results-based agri-environment pilot project.
Minister of State for Land Use and Biodiversity Senator Pippa Hackett is urging all the stakeholders to get involved in this pilot programme.
This is a really valuable consultation because it gives everyone who is interested in farm biodiversity an opportunity to input into the design of a new Agri-Environment Pilot. I hope all stakeholders will participate. Farmer input will be key of course, but the insights from other groups and interested parties will also be invaluable as we try to make sure this really does deliver for the environment. It must also deliver for farmers of course and through this, they will be given opportunities and incentives to embrace more environmental practices and benefit from results-based payments for farming with nature. What we now want is an Agri-Environment scheme in which more farmers can adapt their practices for a more sustainable form of agriculture.”
With a view to broadening participation in agri-environment schemes the pilot will only be open to farmers who have not participated in GLAS and are not currently participating in other agri-environment schemes. The application process is expected to open in the second quarter of 2021.
In opening this public consultation Minister McConalogue said, “Protecting and maintaining our environment is a national priority. Agri-Environment schemes like GLAS have played an important role in helping us to achieve our objectives. This pilot will explore new ways of approaching environmental actions and will help us identify what value we can bring to our next national agri-environmental scheme. The results-based approach can help identify the environmental and biodiversity returns from specific farm measures and allows a more focused use of funding. It can also help raise awareness of farming methods that can give the greatest environmental and biodiversity benefits. This model is designed to incentivise farmers to deliver for the environment by ensuring that those with the best environmental scores receive the highest payment.”
I look forward to hearing from stakeholders during this consultation process, which will help us to focus on developing a more sustainable agricultural sector.
A summary of the current proposal can be accessed at gov.ie – Public Consultation on Proposed Agri-Environment Results Based Pilot Project (www.gov.ie) and gov.ie – Comhairliúchán Poiblí Achoimre ar an Tionscadal Píolótach Beartaithe Bunaithe ar Thorthaí Agra-Chomhshaoil (www.gov.ie) .
Submissions concerning the design and implementation of the pilot can be made via the online project survey at www.surveymonkey.com/r/DAFM_ResultsBasedPilot .
The closing date for the receipt of views is Friday February 26th, 2021.