asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the plans, if any, he has to regulate the sale and lease of milk quotas with a view to helping younger family farmers and developing farmers to attain viable milk quotas and thus preserve the family farm unit; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Written Answers. - Milk Quotas.
At present under the Community regulations the sale and leasing of milk quotas can only take place if the lands to which the quotas are attached are also sold and leased.
I have been pressing the EC Commission to bring forward proposals to enable young farmers, developing farmers and other special category producers to purchase permanent quotas available within their co-operative areas as a result of other producers ceasing production. I am hopeful that legal difficulties which caused the withdrawal of an earlier proposal will shortly be overcome and, if so, I will be seeking the early adoption by the Council of Ministers of the revised proposal. I am pursuing the matter further at this week's meeting of the Council of Ministers.