David Ford, who is also Alliance Agriculture Spokesperson said: “I welcome fact that the rural development programme has been approved by the European Commission.
“Farmers will want to see that modulated funds are used for the benefit of farmers, both in diversification and in the various agri-environmental schemes.
“The Department should clearly set out what additional resources have been obtained from Brussels and from the Department of Finance to benefit the wider rural community.
“If this is just and exercise in robbing Peter to pay Paul, it will have limited impact.
“The important issue is not that we are first in the queue ahead of England, Scotland and Wales, but that these resources are used for the best possible benefit of rural areas.”