Land eligibility – Minister pursuing options to assist farmers with marginal lands

The Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney has said he is pursuing options that may assist farmers, marginal land, on land eligibility issues.

12The move comes on the back of land eligibility concerns raised by many farm organisations representing farmers in areas with marginal land.

Responding to a parliamentary question on the issue this week, Minister Coveney said under the provisions of the Basic Payment Scheme, farmers need to declare an eligible hectare for each payment entitlement held in order to benefit from payment.

“The hectares declared must be eligible and must have an agricultural activity carried out on them. The situation in Ireland has not changed since the Single Payment Scheme was replaced by the Basic Payment Scheme at the beginning of 2015.

Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney
Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney

“Eligible lands include those lands with herbaceous grasses and other grazable vegetation, “he said.

According to the Minister in Ireland, the main type of vegetation other than grasses is heather and this continues to be eligible for payment where it is grazable.

The Minister said he is pursuing options that may assist farmers, who have marginal lands, in particular those that have designated land, in meeting the requirements of the Direct Payment regulations.

He said Department officials are in direct contact with the EU Commission with the intention of pursuing all possible options and bringing the matter to an early conclusion.