The means by which Teagasc provides planning and support services for the new Green Low-carbon Agri-environmental Scheme (GLAS) will be significantly different to its predecessor REPS.
Teagasc says it will be providing a GLAS planning and support service through its advisory office network, however the service will be provided under a new partnership arrangement with the National Co-Op Farm Relief Services Limited (NCFRS).
Teagasc says this will allow it to continue to provide clients with a top quality agri-environmental planning and support service as we have done previously for the Rural Environment Protection Scheme (REPS) and the Agri Environment Options Scheme (AEOS).
How will I deal with Teagasc for GLAS?
Teagasc clients will be able to work through their local office as usual to avail of the GLAS service.
Teagasc will ensure that a qualified planner (provided by NCFRS) will be available to clients who have applied to Teagasc to assist them with a scheme application. The planner will visit them on farm and meet them in the Teagasc office when required. Payments for plans will be made to Teagasc.
Why is Teagasc doing this?
Teagasc is adopting this approach because we do not currently have enough advisers available across the country to complete and support this work over the next five years. By 2015 Teagasc will have approximately half the number of advisers it had in place when the REPS scheme closed in 2008.
When will the new GLAS scheme be open?
DAFM is awaiting final approval for GLAS as part of Ireland’s new Rural Development Plan, which will run for the next five to seven years. It is hoped that approval will be announced in early 2015 and once this happens Teagasc will be in contact with clients to advise on the services we can offer.
What’s the new GLAS scheme about?
The scheme is designed to build on the success of REPS and AEOS, which encouraged farmers to farm in an environmentally friendly manner.
- GLAS will be a five-year scheme with a maximum payment of €5,000 annually for up to 50,000 farmers, with an expectation that 30,000 will be accepted in the first year.
- In order to qualify for payment, farmers will have to undertake specified environmental actions based on a plan prepared by an approved planner. A nutrient management plan will also be required
- Access to the scheme will be on a priority basis.