Written Answers. - Grant Payments.

Michael Ring

Question:

46 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the number of farmers waiting on 1998 cattle and sheep headage payments as a result of area aid difficulties on their applications. [19839/98]

To expedite the clearance of all remaining area aid applications it is necessary to contact farmers individually. The area aid unit is concentrating all its resources on clearing outstanding cases by making contact with the farmers who have outstanding problems. In the meantime it will not be possible for the unit to provide information on individual cases by phone or otherwise.

The provision of information on individual cases involving contact with farmers would delay the process of resolving outstanding cases with consequential delays in the issue of payment to the farmers concerned.

Michael Ring

Question:

47 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food when an area aid difficulty will be sorted for a person (details supplied) in County Mayo in order that a headage payment can issue in view of the fact that she always had a net forage area of 8.01 hectares. [19840/98]

In order to expedite the clearance of all remaining area aid applications it is necessary to contact farmers individually. The area aid unit is concentrating all its resources on clearing outstanding cases by making contact with the farmers who have outstanding problems. In the meantime it will not be possible for the unit to provide information on individual cases by phone or otherwise.

The provision of information on individual cases involving contact with farmers would delay the process of resolving outstanding cases with consequential delays in the issue of payment to the farmers concerned.

Michael Ring

Question:

48 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the way in which he will distribute the £10 million aid package announced for fodder losses; who will be eligible for the scheme; and when he will be in a position to pay this money to farmers. [19853/98]

I recently announced that the Government was making £10 million available to deal with winter fodder difficulties. In addition I announced that I had sought EU Commission approval to continue the sheep headage top-up equivalent to £2.75 million.

The sheep headage top up will be paid on the basis of the normal sheep headage applications already on hand in my Department. The details on how the £10 million fund will be allocated are being finalised at present. It is intended that the measure will be geared towards certain farms in the areas identified as worse affected by the weather and mountain sheep farmers. Particular attention will be paid to ensuring that the administrative arrangements facilitate early payment to individual farmers. EU Commission approval has already been sought for the measure.

Michael Ring

Question:

49 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food when a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will be paid 1998 cattle and sheep headage in view of the fact that he has already submitted deeds to prove that he owns a particular plot of land. [19854/98]

In order to expedite the clearance of all remaining area aid applications it is necessary to contact farmers individually. The area aid unit is concentrating all its resources on clearing outstanding cases by making contact with the farmers who have outstanding problems. In the meantime it will not be possible for the unit to provide information on individual cases by phone or otherwise.

The provision of information on individual cases involving contact with farmers would delay the process of resolving outstanding cases with consequential delays in the issue of payment to the farmers concerned.