The €1.5 billion scheme that is the single biggest investment ever by an Irish government has been named the Agri-Climate Rural Environment Scheme (‘ACRES’). This was announced recently by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue.
This agri-environment scheme forms part of Ireland’s draft €9.8 billion CAP Strategic Plan (CSP) and will target 50,000 farm families. The announcement of the scheme name formed part of the update provided by the Minister on the proposed measure. In providing the update, the Minister stressed that approval for Ireland’s draft CSP is still awaited from the EU Commission so all the proposals may be subject to change.
Taoiseach Michael Martin noted at the announcement: “This €1.5 billion 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 and biodiversity benefits.
“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.
“Some 50,000 farmers will be supported directly under this scheme to deliver measurable climate, biodiversity and water quality gains.”
It is proposed that all farmers will have the opportunity to apply for ACRES.