Higher 2018 ANC payments welcomed with further cut reversals urged

Confirmation from Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed of how the additional €25 million promised for the 2018 Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC) scheme will be allocated has been welcomed by Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) president Joe Healy.

Commenting on the announcement, Healy said it is important that the additional €25 million allocated for 2018 marks the start of the reversal of cuts to the important scheme imposed in 2009.

The change to the ANC allocation will mean: the maximum payment for hill areas will be €3,846; €3,120 in more severely handicapped areas; and €2,647 in less severely handicapped areas.

The changes to the scheme will be included in the 2018 amendment to the Rural Development Programme that the Department of Agriculture will submit to the EU Commission.

Healy has encouraged an early decision on the amendment.

Meanwhile, IFA Rural Development chairman Joe Brady said it is important that all farmers will benefit from the increase. He reminded that the ANC Review will begin this year and said:

The objective for the review must be to bring the allocation back to €250 million.

IFA Hill Committee chairman Flor McCarthy welcomed that over half of the €25 million allocation will go to farmers in hill areas, which are the most difficult land areas in the country.