ICSA Rural Development President Tim Farrell called on the Agriculture Department to extend the deadline for GLAS 1, 2 and 3 participants to renew their contracts to next year.
“Participants were asked to respond by text message indicating whether they wished to continue with the program.
However, the CAHI understands that some text responses may not reach the Ministry if sent using some of the smaller mobile networks.
“We need to extend the deadline so that these issues can be resolved,” he said.
“The difficulty only arose because some participants who responded to the ministry’s text – and assumed that those texts were delivered – were subsequently informed that no communication from them had been received.”
“It is only when participants receive a text response from the ministry stating: DAFM: We have received your response that you can be sure the text has been sent.”
Mr Farrell said it’s unclear how many farmers have been affected by this, but no one should fail to continue with GLAS through no fault of their own.
“This is a new way of communicating with the ministry for many and a certain flexibility will have to be demonstrated. “