Farmers up in arms over ‘unbelievable’ ANC decisions
MORE than 1,000 appeals to the ANC review have now been lodged with the Department of Agriculture.
And some farmers have hit out at the findings of the review of the Areas of Natural Constraints (ANC) — formerly the Disadvantaged Areas scheme — as “unbelievable”.
Farmers on the Offaly-Tipperary border have claimed that the area had been blacklisted in the ANC process. Councillor Joe Hannigan said people in the area do not accept the decisions as some of the “worst land” has been excluded.
Meanwhile, farmers whose holding or part of their lands are within the 699 townlands removed from the scheme in the review are to be given the reasons they failed to qualify in the coming weeks.
It is understood that the appeals lodged include a number of landowners never included in the scheme, who believe that they should qualify.
Former Aurivo chair Padraig Gibbons has been appointed by Minister Michael Creed to chair a three-member review panel which will include a former senior official of the Department of Agriculture and a retired Teagasc tillage advisor.
IFA Rural Development secretary Gerry Gunning said that it is hoped the appeal process will be completed before the autumn.
While 3,150 townlands have been designated for the first time, 699 townlands were removed in the review.
“In each case, the review will have to be carried out on a whole townland basis, irrespective of the number of farmers within the townland who lodge an appeal, and the outcome of the appeal will apply to all farmers in the townland,” he said.
Farmers being removed from benefit will qualify for 80pc of their previous benefit under the scheme for 2019, reducing to 40pc in 2020 and zero in 2021, unless they are reinstated under the appeal process.