Up to 50,000 farmers will be able to apply for payments of up to €10,500 under the Government's €1.5 billion agri-environmental scheme, which will be part of the new Common Agriculture policy.

The scheme will run from next year until 2027.

The name of the scheme - ACRES, the Agri Climate Rural Environment Scheme - was announced by Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue.

Farmers will be able to apply for the payments in return for environmentally friendly farming practices and safeguarding biodiversity.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin, along with Minster McConalogue and ministers of State Pippa Hackett and Martin Heydon, gathered in Dublin Castle to announce extra details of the scheme, which has been in development for some time.

Mr Martin said ACRES fulfils the Government's commitment to include a flagship environmental scheme as part of the new CAP, which will support farmers while delivering broader environmental and biodiversity benefits.

The new CAP will be worth €9.8 billion to the agri sector.

We need your consent to load this rte-player contentWe use rte-player to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

Minister Charlie McConalogue said the ACRES scheme is the most significant agri-environmental scheme in the history of the State.

Mr McConalogue told RTÉ's Drivetime: "This is a scheme which we really will deliver, we'll meet our objectives in relation to climate change challenges, but while also really supporting farmers, importantly, in the work that they do and recognising the agri-environmental services that they can provide, but importantly paying them for that."

IFA President Tim Cullinan said the scheme was likely to be a bureaucratic nightmare.

"While we don't have full visibility on the exact conditions of the scheme, it looks very complicated and is likely to be tied up in red tape," he said.

He said there have been various schemes, from REPS to AEOS to GLAS and "each version has put more costs on farmers without any income increase."