Four European Innovation Partnership (EIP) projects funded by the Department of Agriculture are to be extended until the end of 2022, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Pippa Hackett has announced.
The Duncannon Blue Flag scheme has received funding of €171,197 to continue and the Caomhnú Arann scheme has received €427,560.
The other two schemes are the Conservation of Breeding Curlew in Ireland scheme which has received €648,284 and the MacGillycuddy Reeks scheme will see funding of €323,447 in 2022.
The extension will allow them to continue their work for another year, until the start of the next CAP Strategic Plan in 2023.
EIPs are locally led environmental schemes involving a range of stakeholder such as farmers, scientists and NGOs acting collaboratively for a common goal.
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine currently has 55 EIP-Agri projects.
“A lot of important work has been done in these EIP groups with much success, for example, in restoring habitats and biodiversity enhancements,” Minister Hackett said.
“Considerable advances have been made in enabling farmers work together to overcome local issues within their environment. I believe that it is important to ensure the continuity of that significant work until the new CAP period begins in January 2023.
“Many of the lessons from these EIPs are being incorporated into our CAP schemes now that they have been successfully piloted on the ground.”
In addition, the Hen Harrier scheme and Pearl Mussel Project recently began paying their 2,000 plus farmer participants for the habitat payments for 2021.
This will amount to over €5.6m over the coming weeks.