November 27, 2023
Minister must provide flexibility for new ACRES applicants – Claire Kerrane TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Agriculture, Claire Kerrane TD, has called for flexibility for applications under tranche 2 of the Agri Climate Rural Environment Scheme (ACRES).

Tranche 2 of the ACRES is now open for applications, and Minister McConalogue has confirmed that just another 4,000 farmers will be admitted to the scheme.
 
Speaking today, Teachta Kerrane said:

“Minister McConalogue confirmed during the Budget announcement last month that just 4,000 more farmers will be admitted to the ACRES scheme.

“He intends to allow 50,000 farmers to participate in the scheme overall. However, considering 46,000 applied to take part in ACRES tranche 1 earlier this year, that is a very small number of additional places.

“Given the Minister himself has described ACRES as ‘Ireland’s flagship agri-environment scheme’, it makes sense to accommodate as many farmers who are interested in taking part as possible.

“If he does not provide funding to allow for an increase in the numbers of applications accepted to the Scheme, many farmers who are interested in the scheme are set to be disappointed by their exclusion from ACRES.

“As farm organisations such as the INHFA have pointed out, an additional 4,000 places falls far short of demand.

“If ACRES is to be a success, it is crucial that interest is harnessed where farmers are willing and able to undertake measures that support biodiversity.

“I would urge the Minister to exercise whatever flexibility he can regarding the number of places available for tranche 2 of ACRES.”

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