Waste payments leave Irish farmers feeling short changed

Irish farmers are calling for the official calculations that lead to payments under the Farm Waste Management Scheme (FWMS) to be made public so that they can see if they are getting a raw deal.

As things stand, the calculations are made behind closed doors using an agreed formula.

The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association (ICSA) has called on the Minister for Agriculture Brendan Smith to make the calculations of grant payments available to farmers and their representatives so that they may be compared with the Department of Agriculture costings and agreed payments.

“We are simply getting too many farmers who feel short changed when they get their approval and 40% of their grant payment,” said Mr Thompson.

“Many of these payments fall far short of what they were told to expect by Teagasc or by their farm advisor, and without the calculations we are at a loss to see what has gone wrong.”

The current practice is that the farmer is advised of the amount of his grant entitlements without any indication as to how this figure was arrived at. ICSA is seeking clarity and transparency and that should be in everyone’s interest.

“It may well transpire that the advice farmers received was incorrect, but on the other hand we seem to have far more complaints with the later payments than with the earlier approvals, and we are simply trying to help farmers pin point where the discrepancy occurred,” concluded Mr Thompson.

Sam Bond

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