He said the reopening of the scheme to new entrants will also help to produce tangible environmental benefits, as well as deliver an annual income to up to 6,000 farmers.
AEOS is a targeted agri-environment scheme and is part-funded by the EU under the Rural Development Programme, 2007-2013. The scheme specifically targets the three challenges of halting biodiversity loss, contributing to the improvement of water quality and combating climate change that have been assigned the highest priority at European level.
Commenting on the AEOS, Senator Mulcahy said: “This scheme will provide an alternative source of finance for farmers who have been badly affected by this year’s adverse weather conditions. We have just experienced one of the wettest and coolest summers on record and this has had significant, negative consequences for those operating in the local agriculture sector.”
“I would urge Clare farmers intending to apply for participation in the Scheme to look carefully at all of the information available to ensure that their applications are completed properly. Applicants will be assessed on the basis of selection criteria reflecting previous participation in REPS, farm size and location in Disadvantaged Areas,” he added.
Full details of the new Scheme, including the terms and conditions and application forms will be available in the next few days to his Department's website at www.agriculture.gov.ie.