Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue has announced the opening of his department’s farm sustainability plan (FSP) portal for the Agri Climate Rural Environment Scheme (ACRES).

This function will enable advisors to begin the process of developing farm plans in preparation for the submission of applications under the proposed Agri Climate Rural Environment Scheme (ACRES) later in the year.

Announcing the opening of the FSP portal today (Thursday, August 11), the minister said that this online function will support farmers and advisors by providing farm-level data for the preparation of draft plans and applications.

He noted that an “underlying principle” of ACRES is the location of the right action in the right place to maximise and enhance the contribution of actions to the scheme’s objectives.

The FSP online portal will enable advisors to review the land farmed by their clients and undertake field assessments to assist and advise farmers in the identification of the most appropriate actions for their ACRES application.

“Following the launch of the ACRES scheme on June 21, 2022, I am now pleased that my department is making the farm sustainability plan portal available to advisors to facilitate the preparation of farm plans and subsequent applications,” Minister McConalogue said.

He continued: “My department is working towards providing draft terms and conditions of the scheme shortly. This draft will give information on the scheme rules including eligibility requirements, the application process, payment claims and further details on the tier structure and ranking and selection.

“Although certain aspects of the proposed scheme still have to be finalised, I believe that the provision of all of this information, albeit draft, will enable and support farmers and advisors to commence their work on creating FSP applications for the ACRES scheme.”

The minister also stated that, in relation to the ACRES Co-operation approach, his department is currently engaging with the co-operation project (CP) teams, who are developing local action plans which will be communicated to farmers in the relevant areas “as soon as possible”.