Martin Kenny TD seeks clarity on new Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions
Sinn Féin’s Agricultural spokesman, Martin Kenny TD has asked about the new Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions (GEACs) which will come into force under the next Common Agricultural Policy.
Deputy Kenny said these were likely to replace what were the old “greening” measures and were of concern to farmers now, as they are said to be included in Pillar I.
He asked if the new measures under Pillar II would be “more extreme or onerous” on farmers.
Deputy Kenny said:
“I would like more information on the protection of wetlands, peatlands and so on. That would have a major impact, particularly on farmers with poorer quality, marginal and mountain-type land where they find it very difficult to make a living.
“If more hardships are to be placed on them in terms of those kinds of environmental protections, they need to see that they will get an adequate return for that, in other words, that they are paid for the public good they provide by the way they already farm.
“That is not too much to ask. If this is something that will be just a condition of Pillar 1, those conditions will be for everybody.
"Extra emphasis will be put on those farmers, and that needs to be paid for in terms of the public good they provide. They need to see that there is a clear avenue for that to happen.”