Wet­lands CAP pro­posal may hurt farm­ers

Irish Independent - Farming - - NEWS - DE­CLAN O’BRIEN

THE clas­si­fi­ca­tion of peat­lands and wet­lands as ‘car­bon rich soils’ un­der the cur­rent CAP pro­pos­als will have se­ri­ous im­pli­ca­tions for farm­ers work­ing this ground, the INHFA has warned.

INHFA pres­i­dent Colm O’Don­nell claimed that pro­pos­als from the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion re­gard­ing these lands will re­sult in more strin­gent re­stric­tions in terms of drain­ing and work­ing this ground.

A re­stric­tive man­age­ment regime for wet­lands and peat­lands could also limit the abil­ity of those farm­ing this ground to ac­cess en­vi­ron­men­tal schemes, Mr O’Don­nell main­tained.

Since en­vi­ron­men­tal schemes un­der the re­formed CAP will have to add value in terms of the nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment, it could prove dif­fi­cult to de­sign such pro­grammes if the man­age­ment of wet­lands is al­ready se­verely re­stricted.

The INHFA has also voiced con­cern re­gard­ing a pro­posal un­der the Ba­sic In­come Sup­port Scheme (BISS) — which re­places the Ba­sic Pay­ment Scheme — that will re­quire farm­ers to draft a nu­tri­ent man­age­ment plan (NMP).

The INHFA ar­gues that the pro­posal to in­clude pro­vi­sion of a NMP un­der the BISS will in­crease ap­pli­ca­tion costs for farm­ers and fur­ther re­strict the de­vel­op­ment of ac­ces­si­ble schemes such as REPS.

Mr O’Don­nell said INHFA is propos­ing a num­ber of amend­ments to the Com­mis­sion’s CAP pro­pos­als which are ex­pected to be de­bated by the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment early next month.

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