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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 433-448
 Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments
 Header Item Commonage Division
 Header Item Beef Technology Adoption Programme
 Header Item Agrifood Sector Issues
 Header Item Agrifood Sector Issues
 Header Item Coillte Teoranta Review
 Header Item Departmental Expenditure
 Header Item Departmental Schemes
 Header Item Fishing Industry
 Header Item Dual Claim Appeal
 Header Item Departmental Funding
 Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Appeals
 Header Item Single Payment Scheme Appeals
 Header Item Coillte Teoranta Review
 Header Item Rural Environment Protection Scheme Payments
 Header Item Single Payment Scheme Payments

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 824 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 82 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 433-448

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments

 433. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the position regarding a disadvantaged area payment in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52842/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney An application in respect of the Single Payment Scheme and Disadvantaged Area Scheme was received from the above named on 16 April 2013.

This application of the person named was selected for Satellite (remote sensing) Inspection. Following initial processing an over claim was determined. A subsequent ground inspection confirmed the over claim. As the total area over claim was greater than 20%, no payment is due to the person named for the year in question based on the scheme Terms and Conditions and the relevant EU regulations. A letter explaining the foregoing and also informing the person named of a right to appeal, issued on 21 November 2013.

Commonage Division

 434. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if his Department still accepts requests to become involved in the division of commonages; if so, the process to be followed to make an application to his Department for this service; if unanimous agreement is required in order to divide a commonage; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [52866/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney My Department did, for some time, provide a commonage division and re-arrangement service but this was discontinued in 1998 following a review of its operation.

Beef Technology Adoption Programme

 435. Deputy Michael Ring Information on Michael Ring Zoom on Michael Ring asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney further to Parliamentary Question No. 368 of 3 December 2013, the reason the question was not answered in full; the date on which the third task under the BTAP 2012 scheme was selected and completed by a herdowner; the date on which his Department was notified of the completion of the third task; and the person within his Department who signed off on the decision to allow credit for the successful completion of this task.  [52891/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The person named selected two Tasks under the 2012 Programme - Tasks 6 and 8. At validation he was found not to have completed Task 6. No third Task was selected.

Following a decision to review all cases which had not initially been confirmed eligible for payment, it was established from a file received from ICBF on 14 May 2013, that the person named had successfully completed Tasks 2 and 3; he was, therefore, deemed to be eligible under the 2012 Programme, notwithstanding that he had not selected either of these Tasks, nor had he sought to substitute either, or both, of the original Tasks selected. His case was one of 683 participants in the 2012 Programme who were similarly deemed eligible on review and were subsequently paid in July 2012.

Further to procedure under SO 40A, full details regarding decision making will be forwarded to the Deputy.

Agrifood Sector Issues

 436. Deputy Lucinda Creighton Information on Lucinda Creighton Zoom on Lucinda Creighton asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the key sectors of the agriculture or food industries that are contributing the most to export growth; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [52926/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The agri-food sector plays a very significant role in national economic development. It currently accounts for 7.1% of national gross value-added and 8.6% of employment. Between 2008 and 2012, the sector’s contribution to national GVA rose from 6.1% to 7.1%.

  However, these figures, significant as they are, may actually underestimate the importance of the sector to national economic development. The Deputy should be aware that more than 75% of the expenditure in this sector is on Irish goods and services, compared to 42% for all manufacturing. In addition it has a lower import content and a lower level of profit repatriation than other manufacturing industries. In fact every €100 of exports from the bio-sector (agriculture, forestry, fisheries, food & drink industries) contributes around €48 to GNP while the ‘non bio-sector’ contributes around €19.

  Last year, Irish food and drink exports exceeded €9 billion for the first time. This trend is continuing, with the latest CSO figures showing a 6.7% rise in agri-food exports in the first three-quarters of 2013, as compared to the same period in 2012.

  The table below outlines the performance of total exports attributed to each sector of the agri-food industry, compared to the baseline figures from Food Harvest 2020.

  Export Performance in the Agri-food Sector

Products €m €m -
  FH2020 Baseline

(2007 to 2009 avg)
2012 Difference 2012/baseline
  €m €m % Change
Dairy Products & Ingredients 2,201 2,620 +19%
Beef 1,529 1,900 +24%
Prepared Foods 1,533 1,424 -7%
Beverages 1,238 1,255 +1%
Pigmeat 339 507 +49%
Seafood 342 501 +46%
Edible Horticulture & Cereals 238 227 -5%
Poultry 211 221 +5%
Sheepmeat 171 212 +24%
Live Animals 177 217 +23%
Total Food & Drinks 7,979 9,084 +14%


  Source: Bord Bia

Agrifood Sector Issues

 437. Deputy Lucinda Creighton Information on Lucinda Creighton Zoom on Lucinda Creighton asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the extent of dealings his Department has with Enterprise Ireland for further enhancing export opportunities for the food and agricultural industries; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [52927/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney My Department has an extensive and longstanding relationship with Enterprise Ireland (EI), which is focused on supporting the growth and development of the agrifood industry and the expansion of export opportunities. In order to export successfully, and meet the targets set out in Food Harvest 2020, the food industry’s capacity and capability to develop and deliver products and services in line with customer requirements are vital.

  DAFM and Enterprise Ireland work together, sharing expertise, to support developments in a variety of areas. Contacts vary from formal participation across a range of committees which progress different policy areas to ongoing daily informal contacts.

  Food Harvest 2020

  EI have been fully involved in Food Harvest 2020 from the outset and are represented at CEO level on the High Level Implementation Committee (HLIC). The HLIC, which I chair, consists of the senior officials of all state agencies involved in the agriculture, food and fisheries sector. Their third report “Milestones for Success 2013 ”, launched in September, provides a detailed account of progress achieved to date on all the recommendations in Food Harvest 2020.

  Capacity and Capability Building

  My Department provides funding for major capital investment programmes through the Dairy Fund and the Beef & Sheep meat Fund, which between them have made investment support of €169 million available to companies since 2007. Enterprise Ireland administers this funding which supports both greenfield and expansion projects in food.

  It funds a range of key programmes delivered by Enterprise Ireland supporting innovation, sales and marketing skills, strategic thinking and competitiveness, including Lean Training programmes, Leadership 4 Growth and Innovation Vouchers.   

  DAFM representatives sit on the EI committees for Investment and Jobs Expansion.

  Research and Development

  Enterprise Ireland sits on the industry led Food Research Expert Advisory Group operated by my Department which developed the Food Research Ireland strategic research agenda (SRA) used to guide the content for the Food Institutional Research Measure (FIRM) calls. In addition, EI sits on the overarching Research Committee which conducts the 3rd stage (short listing projects for possible funding by DAFM) in the evaluation process for DAFM competitive research programmes.

  In turn representatives from my Department bring their expertise to bear as members of the Enterprise Ireland Industrial Research Commercialisation Committee, which deals with the funding for applied research and commercialisation involving the public research organisations, collaborative research and industry led networks. This committee has supported innovation with pan-industry initiatives, including the Food Health Ireland Technology Centre (parts 1 & 2), the currently developing Dairy Processing Technology Centre and a similar project regarding a potential centre for meat processing. My Department also participates on the EI R&D Committee concerning support for in-company research.

  Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)

  Enterprise Ireland has responsibility for the attraction of international investment to Ireland and maintains a team in Ireland, supported by colleagues in the market place. The FDI function is a key area of collaboration between Enterprise Ireland and my Department. Indeed, accompanied by EI and other state agencies I have used trade missions to the U.S., the U.A.E. and elsewhere as a vehicle for promoting Ireland as a location for inward investment.

  My Department will continue to develop this ongoing close cooperation with Enterprise Ireland across many different areas.

Coillte Teoranta Review

 438. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if he will publish the review of Coillte which has been completed; and if he will facilitate public discussion on its contents in the Chamber.  [52929/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Coillte has been the subject of a number of reviews over the last number of years. The review of Coillte, to which the Deputy refers, is one which was undertaken on foot of a commitment in the previous Government’s Renewed Programme for Government. It is not my intention to publish the outcome of that review, as that particular review exercise was superseded by the analysis undertaken on foot of the Government Decisions in 2012 in relation to the sale of state assets which encompassed Coillte.

Departmental Expenditure

 439. Deputy Kevin Humphreys Information on Kevin Humphreys Zoom on Kevin Humphreys asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney of the €26 million in capital spending recorded as not spent under the expenditure profile at end November in the most recent analysis of gross voted expenditure Exchequer figures, the reason for the underspend; if he will provide a breakdown of the capital projects or outlays that have not commenced as yet as per the profile; if any of the total €107.2 million in total capital carryover in Government for 2012 relates to his Department; the amount of same; if it has been spent; on what it has been spent; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [52946/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The bulk of the Department's capital budget after the payment of forestry premia and capital budget assigned to non-commercial State sponsored bodies, relates to demand led grant schemes. The rate of expenditure is determined by the rate of progress achieved by various beneficiaries in undertaking their approved projects and the drawing down of monies when projects have been completed.

  At the end of November, actual capital budget spending was behind profile for the period January to November 2013 by approximately €25.755 million made up as follows:-

- €m
On farm capital grant schemes (mainly TAMS) 10.3
Fisheries 5.3
Marketing & Processing (food sector) 6.0
Forestry 2.6
Miscellaneous (including State bodies) 1.5


  Most of the funds provided for in the 2013 capital budget relate to grant approvals that have already issued and for which funds have yet to be drawn down by the beneficiaries.

  Of the total Government level capital saving of €107.2m., carried over from 2012 to 2013, €6 million related to the Department.   With the approval of the Department of Public Expenditure & Reform, the €6 million was assigned to the forestry capital budget and was fully consumed in the early part of 2013.

  The total spend for my Department for 2013 is not yet completed and final discussions on possible carryover for 2014 are still ongoing.

Departmental Schemes

 440. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan Information on Patrick O'Donovan Zoom on Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the reason specialist heifer feeders were excluded from the beef premium payments prior to the establishment of the three reference years 2000, 2001 and 2002; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52993/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The EU Regulations governing the Special Beef Premium Scheme, which was introduced in the mid 1980s, defined the animals eligible under the Scheme i.e. bulls and bullocks. This scheme was designed to compensate farmers for a reduction in intervention prices. Since heifers were not eligible for intervention, they were not included in the Scheme. However, when the Slaughter Premium was introduced subsequently, heifers were entitled to benefit from this scheme. In addition, some funds from the Beef National Envelopes were directed towards heifers.

Generally, the Single Payment Scheme is applicable to farmers who actively farmed during all or any of the three reference years 2000, 2001 and 2002, who were paid Livestock Premia and/or Arable Aid payments in one or more of those years and by whom Single Payment entitlements were, therefore, established. Other farmers, including new entrants to farming since the reference period, are also eligible for the Single Payment Scheme where they have received entitlements from the National Reserve, or by way of a transfer i.e. purchase or lease.

Fishing Industry

 441. Deputy Ann Phelan Information on Ann Phelan Zoom on Ann Phelan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if a remuneration or compensation package is being considered by the EU for fishing businesses that were forced to cease operation here following the reduction in fishing quotas in 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [52999/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Under EU Regulation, compensation is not paid to operators who cease operation. The EU Regulations allow for making payments under planned and approved decommissioning schemes whereby vessels are decommissioned (scrapped) and the capacity associated with the licence of the scrapped fishing vessel is permanently removed from the Sea Fishing Boat Register.

A major decommissioning scheme was successfully implemented in Ireland in 2008 involving the removal of 46 large whitefish fishing vessels at a cost of €36.6 million. The cost of such schemes is high and consideration of any future schemes must take account of funding available and other priorities for public investment in the seafood industry.

Dual Claim Appeal

 442. Deputy Pat Breen Information on Pat Breen Zoom on Pat Breen asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when a decision on a dual claim appeal will issue to a person (details supplied) in County Clare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53016/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The appeal of the person named is currently under consideration; the person named will be advised of the outcome, in writing, shortly.

Departmental Funding

 443. Deputy Heather Humphreys Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if there will be any further rounds of funding for the sow welfare scheme in the future; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53017/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The TAMS Sow Welfare Scheme, which was introduced in order to assist farmers to bring their facilities up to the standards required by the new EU animal welfare rules which came into force at the beginning of this year, closed for applications on 3 May 2013.

The determination of the farm sectors in which investment aid will be made available in the next rural development programme is currently under consideration within my Department.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Appeals

 444. Deputy Noel Coonan Information on Noel Coonan Zoom on Noel Coonan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when an area aid disadvantage payment will issue to a person (details supplied) in County Tipperary; the reason for the delay in payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53037/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The written appeal of the person named in connection with the 2013 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme is currently under review. The person named will be advised, in writing, of the outcome of the review shortly.

Single Payment Scheme Appeals

 445. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the position regarding an area based payments appeal in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53046/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney A review of the land declared by the person named under the Single Payment Scheme revealed that two land parcels were over-declared. The applicant has sought a review of the decision and this review is currently being undertaken. My Department will be in direct contact with the person named regarding the outcome of this review shortly. If the applicant is not satisfied with the outcome of the review, he can appeal his case to the Independent LPIS Appeals Committee.

Coillte Teoranta Review

 446. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if he will publish the long overdue report of the review of Coillte, initiated by the last Government in 2010; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [53047/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Coillte has been the subject of a number of reviews over the last number of years. The review of Coillte, to which the Deputy refers, is one which was undertaken on foot of a commitment in the previous Government’s Renewed Programme for Government. It is not my intention to publish the outcome of that review, as that particular review exercise was superseded by the analysis undertaken on foot of the Government Decisions in 2012 in relation to the sale of state assets which encompassed Coillte.

Rural Environment Protection Scheme Payments

 447. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when a REP scheme payment will issue to a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53094/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The person named commenced REPS 4 in May 2008 and received payments for the first five years of their contract.

  REPS 4 is a measure under the current 2007-13 Rural Development Programme and is subject to EU Regulations which require detailed administrative checks on all application to be completed before any payments can issue. Following the Land Parcel Identification Review (LPIS) an area discrepancy was identified which has resulted in the necessity for further clarification.

  This issue is currently being investigated with the intention of an early resolution and payment in respect of 2013.

Single Payment Scheme Payments

 448. Deputy Tom Fleming Information on Tom Fleming Zoom on Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the position regarding a cut of approximately €400 in the single farm payment in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; if he will examine the file and rectify the anomaly and restore payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53101/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney A review of the land declared by the person named under the Single Payment Scheme revealed that two land parcels were over-declared. The applicant has sought a review of the decision and this review is currently being undertaken. My Department will be in direct contact with the person named regarding the outcome of this review shortly. If the applicant is not satisfied with the outcome of the review, he can appeal his case to the Independent LPIS Appeals Committee.


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