Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Land Project.

asked the Minister for Agriculture if he will state in respect of the year 1955-56 and the present financial year to date (a) the number of applications received under the land project, (b) the number of grants approved, giving the acreage and the total cost, and (c) the amount of such expenditure attributed to the provision of ground limestone and phosphates.

During the year 1955-56, a total of 31,667 applications were received. Grants amounting to £1,774,357 were approved in 27,114 cases in respect of 128,575 acres. During the period 1st April to 30th September, 1956, a total of 11,667 applications were received. Grants amounting to £739,901 were approved in 10,212 cases in respect of 52,867 acres.

As to (c) in the Deputy's question, the position is that in each case a sum of £5 per acre is retained out of the approved grant until the farmer applies to the reclaimed land a maximum of two tons of ground limestone or equivalent and three cwt. of superphosphates or equivalent, if a soil test indicates that the reclaimed land requires such ground limestone and phosphates. Information is not available as to the amount of expenditure actually attributable to the provision of ground limestone and phosphates in the approved cases.