New agri-environment results-based pilot project open for consultation

Public consultation has opened on the development of a new agri-environment results-based pilot project.

Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue says the project will explore new ways of approaching environmental actions and help identify what value can be brought to the next national agri-environmental scheme.

The pilot project is in line with the Programme for Government's commitment to reward farmers for adapting to more sustainable methods of farming and to the development of a new agri-environment scheme capable of delivering broad environmental and biodiversity benefits that will align financial supports with climate objectives.

Funding has been made available for 2021 for the project which will only be open to farmers who have not participated in GLAS and are not currently participating in other agri-environment schemes.

Minister McConalogue says; the results-based approach can help identify the environmental and biodiversity returns from specific farm measures and allows a more focused use of funding as well as raising awareness of farming methods that can give the greatest environmental and biodiversity benefits.

The model is said to be designed to incentivise farmers to deliver for the environment by ensuring that those with the best environmental scores receive the highest payment.

The application process is expected to open in the second quarter of 2021.