Tuesday, 19 October 2004

Questions (288, 289, 290)

Paul Kehoe

Question:

429 Mr. Kehoe asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the position regarding the scheme of investment aid for the potato sector; if and when further grants will be made; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [25110/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Agriculture and Food)

The first round of the farm investment aid scheme for the potato sector covered the period January 2001 to December 2002. The scheme received 140 applications. Some 38 applicants were approved for grants. The balance of applicants were written to and told that they were unsuccessful. There have been no further rounds of this scheme since then. Under the capital investment scheme for the marketing and processing of certain agricultural products, applications were invited earlier this year for grant aid to commercial enterprises towards the capital cost of specialised facilities for the handling and marketing of potatoes. The closing date for receipt of applications was 18 June 2004. The applications are being assessed and decisions on the award of grants will be taken shortly. Future funding of capital grant aid schemes in the potato sector will be determined in the context of the budgetary situation and the overall requirements for the development of the sector, particularly in value added projects.

Michael Ring

Question:

430 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the number of applications relating to force majeure and exceptional circumstances which were received by the single payment scheme section of her Department; the number of these which have been dealt with to date; the number which were subsequently appealed; and the number of these appeals which were successful or unsuccessful. [25309/04]

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John Perry

Question:

434 Mr. Perry asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the number of applications her Department has received under the single payment force majeure and exceptional circumstances scheme; the number of applications that have been granted and the number refused; the reason for the refusals; the number at appeal stage; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [25478/04]

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I propose to take Questions Nos. 430 and 434 together.

The following is the up to date position regarding the processing of 15,256 applications received under theforce majeure-exceptional circumstances provisions of the single payment scheme:

Number

Number of cases processed

12,324

Number of successful applicants

1,615

Number of unsuccessful applicants

9,029

Number of applicants where additional information has been sought

2,680

Number of applicants who submitted an appeal to the Single Payment Advisory Committee

1,099

Number of successful appeals

101

Number of unsuccessful appeals

830

Appeal Cases under consideration

168

Applicants under the scheme were considered unsuccessful where the circumstances put forward were not deemed to satisfy the criteria forforce majeure-exceptional circumstances under article 40 of Council Regulation (EC) No. 1782/2003.