Houses of the Oireachtas

All parliamentary debates are now being published on our new website. The publication of debates on this website will cease in December 2018.

Go to oireachtas.ie

 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 843 - 857
 Header Item Plant Protection Products
 Header Item Herd Numbers
 Header Item Agriculture Scheme Payments
 Header Item Rural Environment Protection Scheme Payments
 Header Item Common Agricultural Policy Reform
 Header Item Single Payment Scheme Payments
 Header Item Fish Quotas
 Header Item Installation Aid Scheme Applications
 Header Item Agri-Environment Options Scheme Applications
 Header Item Departmental Reports
 Header Item Rural Environment Protection Scheme Payments
 Header Item Forestry Management
 Header Item Agri-Environment Options Scheme Payments

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 835 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 118 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 843 - 857

Plant Protection Products

 843. Deputy Sandra McLellan Information on Sandra McLellan Zoom on Sandra McLellan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney further to Parliamentary Question No. 326 of 4 March 2014, if he will clarify the regulations regarding experimental weather modification and chemical spraying in the skies; if he could also clarify who carries out this practice; the reason for same; the person that authorised it; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12827/14]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive’s primary aim is to reduce the risks to human health and the environment that are associated with pesticide use. The directive is designed to further enhance the high level of protection achieved through the entire regulatory system for pesticides. This Directive (Directive 2009/128/EC) is transposed into Irish law by Statutory Instrument No. 155 of 2012.

This S.I. prohibits the application of pesticides from aircraft (aerial spraying) except under extenuating circumstances and only after a comprehensive and exhaustive risk assessment is carried out. This risk assessment is carried out by the competent authority in each Member State. To that end, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is the competent authority responsible for conducting such risk assessments and for the issuance of any permit to allow such aerial application to occur.

It should be noted that no aerial application of pesticides has occurred on farmland in Ireland since 1993. On that occasion it was deemed absolutely necessary due to extreme weather conditions whereby farmers were unable to apply plant protection products to potato crops using their own equipment. The exercise was carried out under the strict supervision of officials from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. In addition, my Department limited the products that could be applied to the affected potato crops. Only products with a more favourable environmental profile and that were of less concern to public health, were permitted.

The aerial application of plant protection products is a very specialised job and thus is only carried out by specialist contractors (none of which are based in Ireland). The aerial application which occurred in Ireland in 1993 was carried out by a UK based contractor. The issue of experimental weather modification is not a matter for my Department.

Herd Numbers

 844. Deputy John O'Mahony Information on John O'Mahony Zoom on John O'Mahony asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the reason a person (details supplied) in County Mayo has been refused a herd number; if this person can appeal this decision; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13509/14]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The application for an additional herd number in this case relates to lands that form part of an existing pet farm which is also registered for bovine, ovine, porcine and poultry. An inspection carried out indicated that the requirements for an additional herd number (viz. separate/defined holding) were not met. My Department has written to the applicant outlining the position and the requirements to be met for a separate herd number to be granted.

Agriculture Scheme Payments

 845. Deputy Jim Daly Information on Jim Daly Zoom on Jim Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when payment of the sugar beet compensation scheme will issue to a person (details supplied) in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12793/14]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney An Official of my Department has made direct contact with the person named on this issue; this is a complex situation where while the person named grew the sugar beet, he was not the Single Payment Applicant at the time entitlements were allocated. Every effort is being made to resolve this issue.

Rural Environment Protection Scheme Payments

 846. Deputy Brian Walsh Information on Brian Walsh Zoom on Brian Walsh asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the position regarding an overpayment of REP scheme payment in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Galway; when this overpayment occurred; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12843/14]

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 June 2008 and received payments for the full six 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 applications to be completed before any payments can issue. Following the review and re-digitisation of commonage lands in 2008-09, an area-discrepancy was discovered in relation to 4.460 hectares. of Natura commonage drawn down for payment in the REPS Agri-Environment Plan of the person named. This has resulted in the application of a claw-back of monies paid for the years 2008 and 2009 to the 2013 Year 6 payments.

Common Agricultural Policy Reform

 847. Deputy John O'Mahony Information on John O'Mahony Zoom on John O'Mahony asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the progress he is making in resolving the problem regarding the proposal to incorporate the sheep grassland payment into the single farm payment of sheep farmers as part of the new Common Agricultural Policy; the progress on securing the restoration of the sheep grassland payment to €18 million per annum; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [12846/14]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney In developing the shape of the new system of Direct Payments in Ireland, I have been very conscious of the needs of sheep farmers, in particular those who farm on hill and commonage land. In general sheep farmers hold low value entitlements under the current Single Payment Scheme and will benefit significantly from the model of convergence that is to be applied in Ireland where those with a low Initial Unit Value will see the value of their entitlements increase over the period of the scheme. The Grassland Sheep Scheme is based on Article 68 of the current EU Regulation 73/2009 which governs direct payments in the form of the Single Payment Scheme. As of 1 January 2015 that Regulation is superseded by EU Regulation 1307/2013 and consequently there is no longer any legal basis for the continuation of the Grassland Sheep Scheme in its present form.

When determining the Initial Unit Value of a farmer’s entitlements under the Basic Payment Scheme in 2015, Regulation 1307/2013 gives Member States the option to take into account any payment the farmer received in 2014 under Article 68 schemes such as the Grassland Sheep Scheme. This option is only available where the Member State is not applying voluntary coupled support to the sector concerned under the new CAP.

I have decided to apply this provision in Ireland as a means of safeguarding the value of the payments received under the Grassland Sheep Scheme for those farmers concerned. The Grassland Sheep Scheme is the only Article 68 scheme that is being incorporated into the calculation of entitlements under the new Basic Payment Scheme. If such incorporation does not take place the value of such payments would simply remain in the national fund and would be redistributed generally among all farmers who establish entitlements.

The incorporation of the Grassland Sheep Scheme payment into the calculation of a farmer’s Initial Unit Value in 2015 will obviously result in a higher entitlement value for the farmers concerned from the start of the Scheme rather than relying solely on the gradual process of convergence to increase the unit value over the five year period up to 2019. Our analysis confirms that as a result of this provision the group of farmers who receive the Grassland Sheep Scheme will experience immediate benefit as part of their payment under the Basic Payment Scheme.

Over the past two years sheep numbers have stabilised and while the breeding flock declined slightly in 2013, a return to growth is expected in 2014. I was pleased to note that for the third consecutive year Irish sheep throughput grew, reaching 2.61 million head, a rise of 7%. These developments led to sheepmeat production rising by around 3% to stand just over 55,000 tonnes. The total value of Irish sheepmeat exports is estimated to have increased by over 4% in 2013 to reach €220m.

Single Payment Scheme Payments

 848. 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 the disadvantaged area and single farm payments in respect of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12906/14]

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 2013 Single Payment Scheme revealed that several land parcels were over-declared. The applicant was notified accordingly by letter dated 21 September 2013, in which he was also advised of his right of appeal. To date, no appeal has been received.

Fish Quotas

 849. Deputy Thomas Pringle Information on Thomas Pringle Zoom on Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if Ireland has arranged any fishing quota swaps with Lithuania; if his attention has been drawn to any swaps that Lithuania has arranged in order to be able to access the blue whiting fishery; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12929/14]

 850. Deputy Thomas Pringle Information on Thomas Pringle Zoom on Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if the Lithuanian vessel (details supplied) has any fishing entitlements in Irish waters; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that this vessel has entered Irish waters in recent days; if he will monitor the fishing activity of this vessel; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12928/14]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney I propose to take Questions Nos. 849 and 850 together.

The TAC and Quota Regulation EU No. 43/2014 sets out the quotas for each stock available to Member States. In addition to the fishing opportunities allocated in the Regulation, Lithuania may exchange quota with another Member State under the normal arrangements for exchanging quotas. Lithuania does not have a quota for Blue Whiting in the Western waters, however EU records show that they have received 5,000 tonnes from the Netherlands in 2014 as a result of an exchange. Lithuania has a quota of 120 tonnes of Mackerel in Western Waters. I do not have information on how Lithuania internally allocate these quotas to its fleet and such information is not made available to Member States.

All fishing vessels must also comply with all EU Regulations relating to the Common Fisheries policy, including reporting of catches and respecting technical measures such as mesh size. Control of the fishing within Ireland’s Exclusive Fishery Zone is a matter for the Irish control authorities. Under the Sea Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Act, 2006, operational issues concerning sea fisheries control are a matter for the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) and the Naval Service. It is the responsibility of the Control Authorities to monitor and control the activities of fishing vessels which are operating within the Ireland’s Exclusive Fisheries Zone.

Installation Aid Scheme Applications

 851. 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 the young farmers installation scheme payments in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12978/14]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney My Department has no record of having received an application form from the person named prior to the suspension of the Young Farmers’ Installation Scheme for new applications on 14 October 2008.

The consultation paper prepared by my Department in relation to the proposed measures for inclusion in Ireland’s Rural Development programme for 2014-2020 includes a commitment to the introduction of an enhanced grant scheme for young farmers who invest in farm infrastructure with a specific grant rate of 60 per cent compared to the standard grant rate of 40 per cent which will be generally available under other on-farm investment schemes.

Within the limits of the EU provisions governing the new Rural Development Programme, I will be endeavouring to ensure that as many young farmers as possible can avail of the enhanced grant scheme when the national measures are introduced following receipt of the required EU Commission approval for the Programme. Where young farmers do not meet the conditions laid down in the governing EU provisions for the enhanced grant scheme, they will be eligible to apply for grants at a standard rate under other on-farm investment schemes which are made available under the new Programme.

Agri-Environment Options Scheme Applications

 852. 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 if he will expedite an agri-environment options scheme application in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry.  [12980/14]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The person named was approved for participation in the Agri-Environment Options Scheme (AEOS 3) with effect from 1 May 2013. Under the EU Regulations governing the Scheme and other area-based payment schemes, a comprehensive administrative check, including cross-checks with the Land Parcel Identification System, must be completed before any payment can issue. These checks are well under way and I anticipate that payments for AEOS 3 in respect of 2013 will commence shortly.

Departmental Reports

 853. Deputy Niall Collins Information on Niall Collins Zoom on Niall Collins asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the number of external or internal policy reports that have been handed to him but not yet published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13024/14]

 854. Deputy Niall Collins Information on Niall Collins Zoom on Niall Collins asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when he will publish reports in his possession that have not been published to date; if he will outline in tabular form the reports involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13041/14]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney I propose to take Questions Nos. 853 and 854 together.

  The unpublished reports in my Department are listed in the table for the years 2011, 2012 and 2013, since this government took office.

2011: March- December   
Consultant
Title of Report
Date of Commission
Date or Expected Date of Publication
Deloitte IrelandTo examine recommendations of the Report of the Review Group on State Assets and Liabilities as applicable to be this Department to value the assets referred to and to make a series of recommendations
Commissioned centrally end June/July 2011
Not for external publication.

For Internal Departmental information
Michael DowlingBeef 2020 Activation Group: Growing the Beef Sector
February 2011
March 2014
ESPIONIndependent assessments of the Department’s IT security measures and security review of the Department’s infrastructure
IT security measures-quarterly. IT infrastructure security review - bi-annual.
Not for external publication.

Required for EU accreditation purposes
2012   
Consultant
Title of Report
Date of Commission
Date or Expected Date of Publication
Team BDSLean Review of the Meat Inspection Service
10 October 2011
Date to be decided for final publication
Deloitte IrelandDepartment of Agriculture, Food and the Marine – Annual Accounts Certification
2010
Not for external publication.

Report is a requirement of EU legislation
Compass Informatics Ltd.Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine – GIS Review 2012/2013
October 2012
Not for external publication.

For Internal Departmental information.
ESPIONIndependent assessments of the Department’s IT security measures and security review of the Department’s infrastructure
IT security measures-quarterly. IT infrastructure security review - bi-annual
Not for external publication.

Required for EU accreditation purposes.
2013   
Consultant
Title of Report
Date of Commission
Date or Expected Date of Publication
Deloitte IrelandDepartment of Agriculture, Food and the Marine – Annual Accounts Certification
2010
Not for external publication

Report is a requirement of EU legislation
ESPIONIndependent assessments of the Department’s IT security measures and security review of the Department’s infrastructure
IT security measures-quarterly. IT infrastructure security review - bi-annual
Not for external publication.

Required for EU accreditation purposes
NTA Monitor LimitedIndependent assessments of the Department’s IT security measures and security review of the Department’s infrastructure
Independent assessments of the Department’s IT security measures and security review of the Department’s infrastructure
Not for external publication.

Required for EU accreditation purposes

Rural Environment Protection Scheme Payments

 855. Deputy Paul J. Connaughton Information on Paul Connaughton Zoom on Paul Connaughton asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when payment of REP scheme will issue in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13086/14]

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 October 2009 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 applications to be completed before any payments can issue. Following the Land Parcel Identification System (LPIS) review an area-discrepancy was identified in relation to 3.65 hectares of lands drawn down for payment in the Agri-Environmental Plan commenced in October 2009. This has resulted in the application of a claw-back of monies paid to the 2013 Year 5 payments which issued recently.

Forestry Management

 856. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if he will consider the points made in correspondence (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13119/14]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney My Department is aware of the work that has been carried out. The recently completed Forest Policy Review contains a number of recommendations in relation to measures to strengthen the role of woodlands adjacent to watercourses and wetlands. Related measures are also being considered for the new forestry schemes, including native woodlands.

Agri-Environment Options Scheme Payments

 857. 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 agri-environment options scheme and area aid 2013 payment will be issued in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Tipperary; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [13109/14]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The person named was approved for participation in the Agri-Environment Options Scheme with effect from 1 September 2010 and full payments have issued in respect of the 2010 and 2011 Scheme years. The person named was late in submitting their 2012 Single Payment Application and as a result of this a 100% penalty was incurred. This penalty also applies to the AEOS 2012 Scheme year payment of the person named in accordance with Section 10.6 of the Terms and Conditions of the Scheme. The application is now being processed in respect of the 2013 Scheme year with the intention of issuing payment at the earliest opportunity.


Last Updated: 24/10/2016 15:31:10 First Page Previous Page Page of 118 Next Page Last Page