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Creed, Michael

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Lobbying Data

Was asked: the bilateral meetings he has had with his European counterparts and the EU Council and European Commission presidents since he took office in which he raised specifically the concerns of Irish and...More Button

I and my Department have been very active in highlighting the potentially very damaging impact of a Mercosur deal on the European and Irish beef sectors.

  At political level, I...More Button

Was asked: the number of occasions on which he has been lobbied in respect of the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill since March 2016; the persons he has met with; the dates of these meetings; the details of the ba...More Button

Under the Regulation of Lobbying Act, 2015, persons who fall within the scope of the Act who communicate with Designated Public Officials about relevant matters must register and submit returns of ...More Button

GLAS Payments

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Donegal can expect to receive a decision in respect of a GLAS payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The person named was approved into GLAS 1 with a contract commencement date of 1 October 2015.

  An inspection was carried out on the holding resulting in a penalty for non-compl...More Button

Areas of Natural Constraint Scheme Funding

Was asked: if in line with a promise made in the programme for Government the promised €25 million increase for areas of natural constraint, ANC, payments will be made later in 2017; if provision for this wil...More Button

The Areas of Natural Constraint, ANC, Scheme is a very important source of financial support for farmers across the country, paying over €200 million each year to over 95,000 farmers. The Programm...More Button

Was asked: his plans to increase the funding in 2018 for the ANC scheme; his further plans to change the rates of payments for different types of land in line with the constraints on each type of land; and if...More Button

The Areas of Natural Constraint, ANC, Scheme is a very important source of financial support for farmers across the country, paying over €200 million each year to over 95,000 farmers.  The Programm...More Button

Animal Welfare

Was asked: the number of calls to his Department's animal welfare helpline in 2015 to 2016 and to date in 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My predecessor, Minister Coveney, established the animal welfare helpline and associated email service in 2012. This helpline facilitates the reporting by members of the public of any suspicion of...More Button

Was asked: the number of prosecutions under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013, in 2016 and to date in 2017; the number of prosecution files being processed; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the number of convictions under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013, in each of the years 2014 to 2016 and to date in 2017, by district; the number of prosecution files being processed; and if h...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 463 and 464 together.

  The Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 has changed the basis upon which animal owners must treat their animals and is spe...More Button

Animal Slaughtering Data

Was asked: the number of horses slaughtered for human consumption in 2015 to 2016 and to date in 2017; the number of approved equine slaughter establishments in 2015 to 2016 and to date in 2017, by county; an...More Button

There are currently two establishments approved by my Department to operate as equine slaughter plants under Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down sp...More Button

Fur Farming

Was asked: the number of inspections of mink fur farms in each year since 2012; the number of scheduled inspections; the number of unannounced inspections; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

There are currently three mink fur farms operating in Ireland. The number of farms reduced from four to three in 2014.

  Inspections of these farms relating to their licensing ...More Button

Sheep Welfare Scheme Expenditure

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that, of the €25 million announced in December 2016 for the Sheep Welfare Scheme, only €20 million of this has been spent; if additional funding will be ...More Button

In December 2016, I introduced the Sheep Welfare Scheme to contribute to  the continuing viability and sustainability of the sheep sector in Ireland. The scheme complements the range of other supp...More Button

The details of the Sheep Welfare Scheme, including the amount of payment to participants, were approved by the European Commission in 2016. The payment rates are based on the agreed costings und...More Button

Gender Equality

Was asked: the funding avenues available to a group (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, women are taking on a more formal role in agriculture, with increased acknowledgement of their contribution to management and labour input on family farms. They play a...More Button

A number of clarifications and amendments to the Irish tax code have been driven by my Department, in conjunction with the Department of Finance, to reduce taxation measures acting as a de facto ...More Button

My Department also funds the ACORNS programme to address the skills, enterprise and capability gaps of rural start up female entrepreneurs. ACORNS, financed by my Department’s Rural Innovation a...More Button

The programme provides participants with the knowledge, support and networking opportunities to meet and even exceed their business goals. Over 100 women have already graduated from it, and many...More Button

I wish to commend the founders of North West Women in Farming Ireland. I am very pleased to see the emergence of, "women in agriculture", groups around the country and I hope that the sector wil...More Button

Tax Code

Was asked: if he will consider a submission (details supplied) and introduce the amendments suggested within the submission as part of Budget 2018; if not, the reasons therefor; and if he will make a statemen...More Button

This issue has only recently come to my attention and, as he is primarily responsible for taxation policy, I will raise it with my colleague the Minister for Finance.More Button

Departmental Functions

Was asked: the powers he has delegated to the Ministers of State in his Department; the date on which such delegation was made; if there were changes in powers delegated relative to the situation in place pri...More Button

Deputy Andrew Doyle was appointed as Minister of State in my Department on 20 June 2017, with special responsibility for Food, Forestry and Horticulture. Minister Doyle’s responsibilities include:...More Button

I will shortly be bringing a memo to Government regarding the Delegation of Ministerial Functions to Minister Doyle.More Button

There are no changes to the functions delegated to Minister Doyle relative to the situation in place prior to 14 June 2017..More Button

Areas of Natural Constraint Scheme Payments

Was asked: if approval will be given to an emergency top up to the areas of natural constraint payment for farmers under severe financial pressure due to incessant rainfall in recent months; and if he will ma...More Button

The Areas of Natural Constraint, ANC, Scheme is a very important source of financial support for farmers across the country, paying over €200 million each year to over 95,000 farmers. The Programm...More Button

The 2017 ANC payments commenced on 19 September and to date, €176 million has been paid to in excess of 81,500 farmers. Payments are continuing on a rolling basis as more farmers satisfy eligibi...More Button

I am pleased to note that 2017 payments are ahead of where they were this time last year..More Button

Was asked: if he has given consideration to reinstating the ANC payment to 2008 levels to better support farmers who work in the most difficult conditions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Under the EU Rural Development Regulation, each Member State may designate areas eligible for payments under the Areas of Natural Constraints, ANC, scheme.  In 2015, the ANC scheme replaced the Dis...More Button

The Rural Development Regulation also sets out that, in future, all eligible disadvantaged areas must be designated using a set list of bio-physical criteria such as soil moisture, soil drainage,...More Button

The Programme for a Partnership Government includes a commitment to increase the budget for the Scheme by €25 million in Budget 2018.  This commitment will be considered via the annual budgetary ...More Button

Was asked: his plans to restore areas of natural constraint payments to 2008 levels; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Under the EU Rural Development Regulation, each Member State may designate areas eligible for payments under the Areas of Natural Constraints, ANC, scheme.  In 2015, the ANC scheme replaced the Dis...More Button

The Rural Development Regulation also sets out that, in future, all eligible disadvantaged areas must be designated using a set list of bio-physical criteria such as soil moisture, soil drainage,...More Button

The Programme for a Partnership Government includes a commitment to increase the budget for the Scheme by €25 million in Budget 2018.  This commitment will be considered via the annual budgetary ...More Button

Brexit Documents

Was asked: his views on an European Commission memo in relation to the trading of agrifood products on an all Ireland basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I assume the Deputy is referring to a report, contained in an RTE news bulletin last week, relating to the trade of agrifood products on an all-Ireland basis. The news item referred to a leaked in...More Button

Greyhound Industry

Was asked: the number of doping tests undertaken out of competition at kennels since the introduction of such testing; the number of disqualification orders issued for greyhounds involved in anti-doping breac...More Button

Bord na gCon is a commercial State body, established under the Greyhound Industry Act, 1958, chiefly to control greyhound racing and to improve and develop the greyhound industry.

 &n...More Button

Areas of Natural Constraint Scheme

Was asked: if he has given consideration to top up funding of ANC payments to persons in counties Sligo, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon, Galway, Cavan and Longford due to incessant rainfall in these areas in recent...More Button

The Areas of Natural Constraint, ANC, Scheme is a very important source of financial support for farmers across the country, paying over €200 million each year to over 95,000 farmers. The Programm...More Button

The 2017 ANC payments commenced on 19 September and to date, €176 million has been paid to in excess of 81,500 farmers. Payments are continuing on a rolling basis as more farmers satisfy eligibi...More Button

I am pleased to note that 2017 payments are ahead of where they were this time last year..More Button

Agri-Environment Options Scheme Appeals

Was asked: if a further review will be carried out on an AEOS 2 scheme in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The position in relation to the person named is that it is open to them or their representative to submit a request for a further review in relation to the AEOS 2 Scheme, in writing, setting out th...More Button

Flood Relief Schemes

Was asked: the steps he will take to ensure that the flood relief scheme for farmers in County Donegal, administered by his Department, compensates persons (details supplied) whose losses are financially deva...More Button

The Deputy will be aware I visited the Inishowen Peninsula with my Government colleague, Minster of State, Deputy Joe McHugh, following the exceptional rainfall of 22 August last to see at first-ha...More Button

Aquaculture Licence Applications

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 247 of 18 May 2017, if an aquacultural licence will be granted; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The application for an aquaculture licence referred to by the Deputy is in respect of a site located in Castlemaine Harbour, which is designated as a Special Area of Conservation under the EU Habit...More Button

All applications in, "Natura", areas are required to be appropriately assessed for the purpose of environmental compliance with the EU Birds and Habitats Directives. My Department, in conjunctio...More Button

The Appropriate Assessment of Castlemaine Harbour has been completed and the relevant licensing determinations have been made based on applications to hand at the time of the assessment.More Button

The specific application referred by the Deputy was submitted to my Department subsequent to the carrying out of the Appropriate Assessment process for this harbour. Accordingly, it was not poss...More Button

The optimum method for appropriately assessing applications by individual operators, who were not included in the initial overall assessment procedure, is under active consideration by my Departm...More Button

In the meantime, the assessment procedures agreed with the European Commission require Appropriate Assessments in respect of aquaculture activities to be carried out by the national authorities a...More Button

Every effort is being made to expedite the conclusion of this matter as soon as possible..More Button

Was asked: the status of aquaculture licence applications made for Cruit Island and Carrickfinn in County Donegal; the timeframe for a final decision to be reached on both applications; and if he will make a ...More Button

A number of aquaculture licence applications for the Carrickfinn area have been determined recently and the public notification process provided for in the applicable legislation is ongoing in resp...More Button

My Department’s records also indicate that an application in respect of the Carrickfinn area and an application in respect of Cruit Island are currently under consideration by my Department under...More Button

My Department is continuing to examine these applications in accordance with the legislation and full account is being taken of the engineering, scientific, environmental, legal and public policy...More Button

As the licence applications are under active consideration as part of a statutory process it would not be appropriate to comment further on the matter at this time..More Button

GLAS Administration

Was asked: the progress in the development of the information technology systems for GLAS payments in view of the fact that there are still a considerable number of persons waiting for payment.More Button

In the context of the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, my Department has delivered over 20 new schemes, including GLAS, that were supported by IT capability. In relation to GLAS, payments my...More Button

During the 2016 GLAS advance prepayment checking process, some information technology issues arose.  Substantial work has been done to ensure that the system is well placed to process future paym...More Button

Currently, the biggest delay in paying 2016 GLAS balancing payments is caused by delays in the submission of outstanding Nutrient Management Plans, NMP. The NMP is a core scheme requirement, and...More Button

Basic Payment Scheme Penalties

Was asked: the status of the request by a person (details supplied) to have the 20% sanction imposed on their basic payment following an inspection reviewed; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The person named was the subject of a Nitrates inspection on 27 February 2017, carried out by my Department on behalf of the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government. More Button

This inspection identified breaches of the cross-compliance requirements under the Nitrates Regulations relating to the discharge of slurry and soiled water directly into a nearby watercourse. T...More Button

The person named was notified of this decision on 4 April 2017. He has requested a review of this decision and this is currently being examined by the District Inspector. The person named will ...More Button

In the event that the person named is dissatisfied with the outcome of this review, the decision can be appealed to the independent Agriculture Appeals Office, within three months..More Button

Departmental Staff Redeployment

Was asked: the number of agricultural technical officer appointments which have been made in counties Galway, Mayo and Roscommon in 2016 and to date in 2017; the number of agricultural technical officer vacan...More Button

Business needs in my Department’s offices in Galway, Roscommon and Mayo are met in the first instance through an internal transfer system whereby serving staff are given the opportunity to transfer...More Button

Information and Communications Technology

Was asked: when information technology issues related to GLAS and AEOS payments will be resolved; the reason for the problems forcing the exacerbation of delays; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In the context of the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, my Department has delivered over 20 new schemes that were supported by IT capability. In the first two years of the current RDP program...More Button

This rate of delivery and draw-down would not have been possible without the availability of high-quality complex IT software systems to support the business units in operating these schemes. Si...More Button

My Department has an excellent record in the delivery of high-quality ICT systems.  We have been consistently among the first to make payments in the EU.More Button

During the 2016 GLAS advance prepayment checking process, some information technology issues arose.  Substantial work has been done to ensure that the system is well-placed to process future paym...More Button

Currently, the biggest delay in paying 2016 GLAS balance payments is caused by the delay by participants in submitting their outstanding Nutrient Management Plans, NMP. The NMP is a core scheme ...More Button

In the case of AEOS payments, cases were worked through systematically and paid on a weekly basis as they were finalised. I am happy to announce that all of these cases have now been finalised a...More Button

Common Agricultural Policy Negotiations

Was asked: the plans he has raised with EU officials regarding the need to protect the current CAP budget; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The future of the CAP is an issue of enormous importance for the European and Irish agrifood sectors. The CAP has demonstrated its capacity to evolve effectively in response to changing market, co...More Button

The European Commission has signalled that it will publish its CAP communication on 29 November 2017. However, discussions on the Multi-Annual Financial Framework post-2020, which are inextricab...More Button

There will undoubtedly be pressure on the future CAP budget, both as a result of the potential impact of Brexit on future EU budgets and because of emerging issues in areas such as immigration an...More Button

My position on this matter has been articulated at official and political level and is well-understood by Commissioner Hogan, my European counterparts and in the Commission. I will continue to w...More Button

Farm Enterprises

Was asked: the way in which he plans to protect the future of suckler and tillage farming; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am very conscious of the importance of both the suckler and tillage sectors to Ireland's rural economy and the challenges currently facing both sectors.More Button

My Department is providing a number of supports to the suckler herd. The Beef Data and Genomics Programme is the main support for the suckler sector and provides farmers, with some €300 million ...More Button

In response to significant demand, earlier this year I re-opened the BDGP programme for new entrants, reflecting the success of this programme, which targets both the environmental footprint and ...More Button

There are a number of challenges facing the beef sector including the suckler sector in the short and medium term, particularly exchange rate volatility and Brexit. One of my priorities now is t...More Button

Live exports also play a vital role in providing an alternative market outlet for Irish farmers, including weanlings from the suckler herd at this time of year. It is an area that I have paid pa...More Button

I remain actively committed to ensuring that Irish beef producers have the option of exporting to as many markets as possible, and my Department and State agencies, such as Bord Bia, continue to ...More Button

Turning to tillage, this is a very important sector, and the Deputy will be aware of a number of measures introduced to underpin the tillage sector and promote its growth into the future. More Button

Among these was a targeted crop loss support measure to assist growers most affected by the wet weather harvest conditions of September 2016. More Button

In addition to the support measure for those worst affected, I also introduced the Agriculture Cashflow Support Loan Scheme, which I specifically extended to include the Tillage and Horticulture ...More Button

As a further support to tillage farmers, I also introduced the Tillage Investment Scheme under TAMS II, which opened for online applications earlier this year. The second tranche closed on 6 Oct...More Button

Additionally, a range of other supports provide vital income and investment support to both sectors including BPS, ANC, GLAS and TAMS..More Button

Brexit Issues

Was asked: his plans to protect the Wexford fisheries industry to offset threats posed by Brexit.More Button

Was asked: his plans to ensure that post-Brexit negotiations in relation to fisheries are linked with the wider trade negotiations. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 483 and 484 together.More Button

Fisheries is, and will remain, a high priority for Ireland in the Brexit negotiations.  I am determined to ensure that fisheries remain high on the Brexit agenda in the EU and that the interests ...More Button

I fully agree with the Deputy’s assessment in identifying the importance of ensuring that fisheries does not become isolated from the overall negotiations. This will be a key factor in protectin...More Button

Existing access arrangements and percentage shares of fish stocks have been agreed by all EU Member States, including the UK, over many years and were most recently affirmed in 2014 when the curr...More Button

If and when the UK finally leaves the EU, it should equally retain its current shares and entitlements.  We are not asking that they lose their rights of access to EU waters or face any reduction...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, there has been an enormous amount of work on this issue in terms of analysing potential impacts for our fishing industries under the various possible scenarios since ...More Button

At EU level there have been, and will continue to be, regular contacts with the Barnier Taskforce, Fisheries Commissioner Vella and like-minded Member States at all levels. In all of these conta...More Button

In conclusion, I would like to assure the Deputy that I will continue to work to have fisheries inextricably linked to the overall negotiations.  I will also be unequivocal in opposing any diluti...More Button

Budget 2018

Was asked: if budget 2018 will offer low-cost loans for farmers to meet their ongoing capital requirements and on-farm investment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

One of my priorities has been to address the impact of the volatility in the sterling exchange rate and lower commodity prices in some agriculture sectors. I see lower cost finance as an effective...More Button

The Scheme made €150 million available to farmers at interest rates of 2.95%. Distributed and administered through AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank, the Scheme provides farmers with a low-co...More Button

The SBCI have recently reported that, to the end of August 2017, there have been 3,920 loan draw-downs amounting to a total of €128,199,316. This is an average loan amount of €32,704. Some 57% ...More Button

I have met with the chief executives of the participating banks to discuss this and other access to finance issues relating to the agrifood sector. I have asked the banks to respond positively t...More Button

I believe that this Scheme demonstrates the importance of lower cost and more flexible finance as a response to competitive pressures, and I hope that it will be a model for possible future measu...More Button

Was asked: if budget 2018 will meet the programme for Government commitment to increase ANC funding by €25 million; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Areas of Natural Constraint, ANC, Scheme is a very important source of financial support for farmers across the country, paying over €200 million each year to over 95,000 farmers. The Programm...More Button

There are a number of options in relation to how any additional funding could be allocated under the ANC.  These options range from allocating the funds as a flat increase across the current paya...More Button

The 2017 ANC payments commenced on 19 September and to date, €176 million has been paid to in excess of 81,500 farmers. Payments are continuing on a rolling basis as more farmers satisfy eligibi...More Button

I am pleased to note that 2017 payments are ahead of where they were this time last year..More Button

Beef Data and Genomics Programme

Was asked: the reason persons (details supplied) have not received an increased payment under the beef genomics scheme in line with the increased number of animals and acreage as a result of a farm partnershi...More Button

An application to participate in the Beef Data and Genomics Programme, BDGP, was received from the persons named on 25 May 2015. The BDGP was approved by the Commission as an agri-environment sche...More Button

Under the terms of the Commission approval, 2014 was specified as the reference year for the Programme and payment is calculated on the basis of the number of cows that calved in the herd in 2014...More Button

The number of calved cows in 2014 was divided by a rate of 1.5 to determine the amount of the maximum payable area, MPA. In order to receive payment in respect of the full MPA, the applicant mus...More Button

It is not possible to increase the reference number or MPA during the lifetime of the BDGP..More Button

Was asked: the payments made by his Department for the beef data genomic scheme nationally; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Beef Data & Genomics Programme, BDGP, was introduced in 2015 to build on and expand breeding data gathered under the Beef Data Programme 2013 and 2014 and the Beef Genomics Scheme 2014. BD...More Button

Was asked: his plans to raise the suckler cow payment in Budget 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Beef Data and Genomics Programme, BDGP, is the current main support for the suckler sector and makes provision for some €300 million of funding over the next six years to Irish beef farmers. More Button

I will continue to support this programme through the lifetime of the current RDP.  Any increase in the payment under the BDGP would require approval from the European Commission. This would be ...More Button

 I have already in 2017 re-opened the BDGP to beef suckler farmers who were not already part of the scheme. The scheme, BDGP II,  also provides for six years of payments to farmers for actions w...More Button

Payment rates and actions for participants in BDGP II are the same as those in the original scheme, with the exception that the training and carbon navigator actions must be completed by 31 Octob...More Button

Animal Disease Controls

Was asked: his plans to introduce a regulation making it mandatory for a declaration to accompany Connemara ponies put up for sale stating whether the animal has been tested for HWSD or not (details supplied)...More Button

Hoof Wall Separation Disease, HWSD, is caused by a genetic defect that appears to occur only in the Connemara pony breed and the carrier frequency has been estimated to be about 14.8%.  For a foal ...More Button

Agriculture Scheme Payments

Was asked: the position regarding 2017 ANC and BPS payments to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

An application under the 2017 Basic Payment Scheme/Areas of Natural Constraints, ANC, Scheme was received in my Department from the person named on 9 May 2017.

  Processing of th...More Button

GLAS Data

Was asked: the number of persons out of the number of approved applicants to the GLAS schemes 1, 2 and 3 that received the 85% payment and are awaiting the 15% payment; and if he will make a statement on the ...More Button

There are currently almost 37,000 active participants between GLAS 1 and 2, with approximately 13,500 further applicants approved into GLAS 3, meaning that the target set in Ireland's Rural Develop...More Button

Despite the scale of the scheme, 99.6% of basic contract payments have been made in respect of 2015. For 2016, 98.4% of advance payments and 73% of balance payments have already been processed. ...More Button

As of today, there are 7,820 NMPs outstanding for 2016 balance payments.  My Department has brought this matter to the attention of GLAS participants and advisors, and I would encourage these par...More Button

Was asked: the number of persons out of the number of approved applicants to the GLAS schemes 1, 2 and 3 that are still awaiting approval; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

There are currently almost 37,000 active participants between GLAS 1 and 2, with approximately 13,500 further applicants approved into GLAS 3, meaning that the target set in Ireland's Rural Develop...More Button

Despite the scale of the scheme, 99.6% of basic contract payments have been made in respect of 2015. For 2016, 98.4% of advance payments and 73% of balance payments have already been processed. ...More Button

As of today, there are 7,820 NMPs outstanding for 2016 balance payments.  My Department has brought this matter to the attention of GLAS participants and advisors, and I would encourage these par...More Button

Agriculture Scheme Appeals

Was asked: the status of a review in the case of a person (details supplied); and the timeframe for its completion.More Button

The Agriculture Appeals Office is independent in the performance of its functions.

  The Office has confirmed that a request for a review of the Appeals Officer's decision was su...More Button

Sheep Welfare Scheme Funding

Was asked: if a €5 million top-up to the Sheep Welfare Scheme will be applied from 2018 onwards; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

In December 2016, I introduced the Sheep Welfare Scheme to contribute to the continuing viability and sustainability of the sheep sector in Ireland. The Scheme complements the range of other suppo...More Button

The details of the Sheep Welfare Scheme, including the amount of payment to participants, were approved by the European Commission in 2016.  The payment rates are based on the agreed costings und...More Button

Was asked: if an additional €5 million funding for the Sheep Welfare Scheme will be provided in Budget 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

In December 2016, I introduced The Sheep Welfare Scheme to contribute to the continuing viability and sustainability of the sheep sector in Ireland. The Scheme complements the range of other suppo...More Button

The details of the Sheep Welfare Scheme, including the amount of payment to participants, were approved by the European Commission in 2016.  The payment rates are based on the agreed costings und...More Button

Dairy Sector

Was asked: the action he plans to take to protect farmers from price volatility in the dairy sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the Deputy is no doubt aware, the ending of the milk quota regime represented an exceptional opportunity for the dairy industry to increase milk output and reach the 50% target set out in Food H...More Button

The period between mid-2014 through to Q4 2016 was extremely challenging for the dairy sector. Factors contributing to global price volatility in 2015 and 2016 included the Russian Ban and the s...More Button

While the outlook in 2017 has been more positive, there are a number of factors which continue to contribute to price volatility in the sector, including political factors outside our control. N...More Button

In terms of market returns to primary producers, raw milk prices remain in the region of 35 to 36 cents per litre, which is ahead of the EU average and over 50% ahead of where prices were this ti...More Button

I remain conscious of the pressure volatility in dairy markets can exert on farmers, and I can assure the Deputy that I am committed to utilising measures at our disposal, including EU market mea...More Button

I have already outlined the measures taken to assist Irish farmers, including  dairy farmers, on a number of occasions. These include the launch of a €150 million low-cost Agriculture Cash-flow ...More Button

In recent years, dairy markets have been characterised by periods of both high and low prices, and the challenge is to ensure that farmers have the tools available to manage their enterprises thr...More Button

I will continue to carefully monitor market developments and engage with the European Commission, with other Member States and with industry stakeholders, to ensure that measures are in place to ...More Button

I recently hosted the fifth meeting of the Dairy Forum with key stakeholders from the Irish dairy sector to discuss how best to future proof the sector by formulating a cohesive approach to deali...More Button

I can assure the Deputy that I will continue to work closely with the dairy sector, EU colleagues and international counterparts to ensure the development and maintenance of a sustainable dairy s...More Button

TAMS Funding

Was asked: his plans to increase funding for TAMS and increase investment aid for commercial horticulture in Budget 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The budget allocation for TAMS II for 2018 will be confirmed later today.

  Under the TAMS II scheme, support is provided under a suite of seven measures:

  - ...More Button

Land Acquisition

Was asked: his plans to provide funding to the NPWS to compensate farmers who have their lands designated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I would like to clarify that my Department has no role in the designation of lands.  That function is exercised through the National Parks and Wildlife Service of the Department of Culture, Heritag...More Button

That said, many of these designations are for species or habitats whose conservation is encouraged under various schemes operated by my Department, such as GLAS, the Burren Programme or some of t...More Button

Agriculture Cashflow Support Loan Scheme Administration

Was asked: his plans to make low-cost loans available for farming enterprises over a five-year period to fund both ongoing working capital requirements and on-farm investment; and if he will make a statement ...More Button

One of my priorities has been to address the impact of the volatility in the sterling exchange rate and lower commodity prices in some agriculture sectors. I see lower cost finance as an effective...More Button

The Scheme made €150 million available to farmers at interest rates of 2.95%. Distributed and administered through AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank, the Scheme provides farmers with a low-co...More Button

The SBCI have recently reported that, to the end of August 2017, there have been 3,920 loan draw-downs amounting to a total of €128,199,316. This is an average loan amount of €32,704. Some 57% ...More Button

I have met with the chief executives of the participating banks to discuss this and other access to finance issues relating to the agrifood sector. I have asked the banks to respond positively t...More Button

I believe that this Scheme demonstrates the importance of lower cost and more flexible finance as a response to competitive pressures, and I hope that it will be a model for possible future measu...More Button

Was asked: his plans to provide for the introduction of low-cost loans for farming enterprises to fund both ongoing working capital requirements and on farm investment in Budget 2018 More Button

One of my priorities has been to address the impact of the volatility in the sterling exchange rate and lower commodity prices in some agriculture sectors. I see lower cost finance as an effective...More Button

The Scheme made €150 million available to farmers at interest rates of 2.95%. Distributed and administered through AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank, the Scheme provides farmers with a low-co...More Button

The SBCI have recently reported that, to the end of August 2017, there have been 3,920 loan draw-downs amounting to a total of €128,199,316. This is an average loan amount of €32,704. Some 57% ...More Button

I have met with the chief executives of the participating banks to discuss this and other access to finance issues relating to the agrifood sector. I have asked the banks to respond positively t...More Button

I believe that this Scheme demonstrates the importance of lower cost and more flexible finance as a response to competitive pressures, and I hope that it will be a model for possible future measu...More Button

Food Harvest 2020 Strategy

Was asked: the latest data with regard to progress on attaining baseline targets set down for the agrifood sector and in each sector in which data is available in the Food Harvest 2020 strategy, by new jobs t...More Button

The main targets set out in the Food Harvest report published in 2010 were, by 2020, to increase the value of primary output by 33% and agrifood exports by 40% (both from a 2007-09 average baseline...More Button

Progress on those targets is monitored and reviewed on an ongoing basis. The latest data available show growth of 36% for both primary production and exports (based on 2016 data), and 47% for va...More Button

Food Wise 2025, the new ten-year strategy for the agrifood sector published in July 2015, is the successor to the Food Harvest strategy. It identifies the opportunities and challenges facing the...More Button

If these recommendations are implemented, the expert committee which drew up the Food Wise 2025 Strategy believes that the following growth projections are achievable by 2025: increasing the valu...More Button

In July this year, I launched the second annual progress report of Food Wise 2025: Steps to Success 2017. Food Wise Steps to Success showed that, of the 368 detailed actions which were due to co...More Button

Agriculture Scheme Data

Was asked: the number of applications to the 2017 national reserve and young farmers scheme, by county, in tabular form.More Button

The number of applications received under the 2017 National Reserve and the 2017 Young Farmers Scheme, by county, is set out in the following table:

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