Hundreds of commonage management plans (CMPs) have yet to be completed under the Green, Low-Carbon, Environment Scheme (GLAS), according to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed.

In response to a recent parliamentary question from Fianna Fail’s agriculture spokesperson Charlie McConalogue, Minister Creed declared that his department is aiming to pay as many farmers as possible their 2017 advance payment.

Commenting on the matter, he said: “This is dependent on all applicants providing the necessary material to qualify for payment. All GLAS applications must pass regulatory controls and validations as is the case with all EU co-funded schemes.

Each application must pass the necessary checks, including the commonage check where applicable, before it can be approved for payment.

Previously, the minister outlined that over 9,000 shareholders across over 3,800 commonages have declared commonage in their GLAS applications.

He continued: “Information sessions for GLAS Advisors on the GLAS commonage online system were held and a video demonstrating the system is available on my department’s website.

“To date over 1,900 plans have been created on the CMP online system. The system remains open and available. 3,800 commonages are included in the GLAS Scheme.

There are issues with a small number of cases and these are being resolved on an ongoing basis.

Meanwhile, the minister added that the main issue holding up the payment of outstanding 2016 claims, which will also hold up 2017 advance payments, is the fact that some participants have not yet submitted a nutrient management plan (NMP).

“This is a core requirement of participation in GLAS. As of November 17, there were 3,800 NMPs outstanding.

“All GLAS participants with outstanding NMPs have been contacted and urged to attend to this urgently, so that outstanding balancing payments and future payments can issue and to ensure ongoing participation in the GLAS scheme,” Minister Creed concluded.