A MEETING to highlight issues which are of special concern to farmers who live on islands off the West Cork coast took place recently in Bandon between representatives of West Cork IFA and the Minister for Agriculture, Food and tThe Marine, Mr Michael Creed, TD. The IFA delegation outlined the challenge of keeping farming alive on the islands, due to the extra difficulties encountered over and above those experienced by farmers on the mainland. The additional costs and problems involved, both in getting inputs delivered onto the islands and farm produce transported back to the mainland, exemplify the challenges. An exaggerated lime deficit on island farms is one resulting consequence.
Other problems raised by the delegation included difficulties in meeting some conditions of the BTAP Scheme, restrictions imposed on Natural Heritage Areas and the issue of land eligibility inspections.
The review taking place this year of the ANC Scheme (formerly known as the Disadvantaged Areas) is another issue of concern to island farmers, as it is to a huge number of farmers throughout West Cork. An important meeting for all farmers on the topic is being planned for West Cork and the date will be announced shortly.