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11/12/2014 12:00:00 AM


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Agriculture Scheme Eligibility

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Eligibility for

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Agriculture Schemes

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Agriculture Scheme Eligibility

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Written Answers\Agriculture Scheme Eligibility
Agriculture Schemes\Eligibility for

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Senator


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Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney)

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Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney)

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Simon Coveney

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Snippet Contents:

A total of some 15,000 farmers, situated mainly along the west coast, declare commonage land amounting to 7% of all lands declared under the Single Payment Scheme and the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme. Under the reformed CAP Regime, the eligibility requirements for Direct Payments is now more focused on active farmers. In that regard, it will be necessary for all farmers who apply for aid under the Basic Payment Scheme in 2015 to have an agricultural activity on each land parcel that they declare for payment purposes. In the case of marginal land including commonages, this can only be achieved by grazing the land. Member States are obliged to set their own requirements for the maintenance of such lands.
Currently discussions are taking places with the European Commission regarding the setting of a relatively modest farming activity requirement under the Pillar I Schemes and the Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme for maintaining marginal land. The grazing requirement, which must be met by all applicants under the Basic Payment Scheme, will be fixed at one ewe per one and a half hectares. A lower level will be set for commonages where it is necessary from an environmental viewpoint (for example, on blanket bogs). In order to provide flexibility for farmers who benefit from payments for commonage lands they claim aid on but do not graze, applicants have until December 2015 to obtain the animals to meet the grazing requirement.
The minimum grazing requirement which must be met in order to qualify for the Basic Payment Scheme and the Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme under the new CAP does not require a grazing plan with at least 50% of farmers using the same commonage.
With a view to having a system to meet the requirements of the Basic Payment Scheme, which will be implemented in 2015, the claimants will have the right, if they consider that the figures provided would not meet the requirements of their commonage, to submit an assessment by a professional planner providing alternative figures.