A ‘bureaucratic nightmare’? Ireland unveils €1.5bn agri-environment scheme


The Irish government has shared further details on what the Taoiseach, Michael Martin TD, described as ‘the single biggest investment ever’ by the Irish government when it provided an update on the Agri-Climate Rural Environment Scheme (‘ACRES’) this morning.

ACRES, part of Ireland’s draft CAP Strategic Plan, will see €1.5bn channelled to the country’s agri-food sector. It is hoped the initiative will come into effect at the beginning of next year although the draft proposal still requires approval from the European Commission.

“This €1.5bn scheme is the single biggest investment ever by an Irish Government, and meets a key commitment to design a flagship environmental scheme under the new CAP that is user friendly for farmers, and will deliver broader environmental benefits and biodiversity,”Martin said. “Climate change is a threat to all of us and to our way of life; And the agriculture sector has a crucial role to meet the challenge, while creating resilient farms for generations to come.”

Under the proposal, Martin revealed some 50,000 farmers will be ‘supported directory’ to deliver ‘measurable’ climate, biodiversity and water quality gains.

“This is the highest amount of money ever committed by a Government to a single agri-environmental scheme so it is great news to see ACRES come this far,”​ Irish Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue TD added.

‘Farmers have a significant role to play’

Irish legislators hope the initiative will provide income support for farmers while also addressing issues like biodiversity decline and environmental protection.

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