Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Questions (233, 234)

Timmy Dooley

Question:

233. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine with reference to the recent changes to the Common Agricultural Policy, if horticulture as a sector of agriculture under the Act have admittance to the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35632/13]

View answer

Timmy Dooley

Question:

234. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will indicate when the horticultural industry can avail of the Common Agricultural Policy scheme; when applications will be open; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35633/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 233 and 234 together.

One of the main features of the CAP reform package, on which political agreement was reached last month, is the flexibility provided to Member States to take individual decisions in regard to implementation of the common policy. In that regard, the general rule for allocation of payment entitlements under the new regime is that the farmer must apply for such allocation in 2015 and must have submitted an admissible aid application in respect of 2013. Traditionally the horticulture sector would not have been in receipt of direct payments and would be ruled out by the 2013 tie-back rule. However, the package agreed provides an option to allocate payment entitlements to the horticulture sector even if the farmers in question did not submit an admissible aid application in 2013.

This is one of many options in the reform package on which we will have to take a decision whether to apply the provision in Ireland. I will shortly engage in a consultation process with stakeholders to examine the various options available before taking a final decision on this and all of the other options open to us.