Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Questions (199)

Éamon Ó Cuív


199. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if entitlements bought in 2014 by a person with no entitlements but who has been receiving the disadvantaged areas payment for the past five years will be of any value post 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15520/14]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The so called Scottish derogation only allows for the allocation of entitlements to farmers who never held entitlements, either owned or leased, but who were actively farming in 2013. Such farmers must produce verifiable evidence that in 2013 they 'produced, reared or grew agricultural products' in the Beef, Sheep or arable sectors.

The scheme year 2014 is the last year in which the Single Payment Scheme will be applied. All existing entitlements expire on the 31 December 2014 and sets of new entitlements will be allocated in 2015 to those who are eligible to participate in the new Basic Payment Scheme. To participate in the Basic Payment Scheme a person must be an 'active farmer' as defined in the Direct Payment Regulation.

Any farmer who received a direct payment in 2013 (Single Payment, Grassland Sheep Scheme, Burren Life Scheme, Beef Data Scheme) is automatically eligible to receive an allocation of entitlements under the Basic Payment Scheme in 2015.

Ireland will also allocate entitlements to farmers who never held entitlements under the Single Payment Scheme, either owned or leased, but who were actively farming in 2013. Participation in the Disadvantaged Area Scheme is not, in itself, evidence of active farming, albeit that farmers benefitting under DAS are required to meet certain minimum stocking density requirements on their holdings. Applicants under the so called “Scottish Derogation” will have to show evidence that they produced, reared or grew agricultural products, including through harvesting, milking, breeding animals and keeping animals for farming purposes.

If a person who never held Single Payment entitlements but who was actively farming in 2013 bought Single Payment entitlements in 2014, he would disqualify himself from applying under the “Scottish Derogation” for Basic Payment Scheme entitlements in 2015.