IFA is constantly working to improve farm incomes by seeking to maximise
market prices and direct payments, as well as to curtail input costs.
At farm level, farmers are also striving to develop their enterprises
and maximise profits.
For many farm families however, the options to improve household income may
be limited due to EU production constraints, lack of resources, absence of
off-farm job opportunities or the ageing profile of the farmers concerned.
In the Agenda 2000 negotiations, IFA is conscious of the need to protect
existing measures which assist low income farmers and to seek improvements
The purpose of this guide, produced by the National Rural Development
Committee, is to bring together all the important schemes and
measures which can benefit low income farmers. By providing easy
access to this information, the guide will help low income farmers
avail of their full entitlements and consequently improve the incomes
of many farm families.
Chairman, IFA National Rural Development Committee
Many measures, both through the Social Welfare system and EU supported
schemes like REPS, Early Retirement, Forestry, headage premia etc., can play a
crucial role in helping low income families to improve their income situation.
It is clear that some farmers are not securing their full entitlements in
this regard at present.
It is vital that farmers maximise these schemes to increase their household
income. This booklet will help farmers check all of the options open to
them. I would like to acknowledge the technical input of Gerry Gunning,
Executive Secretary, IFA National Rural Development Committee and other
IFA professional staff in producing this guide.