message from
IFA President
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 where possible.

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.

message from
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.

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