Basic Payment Scheme Applications

Questions (399)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

399. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of a BPS payment for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40905/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

An application under the 2018 Areas of Natural Constraints (ANC) and Basic Payment Schemes was received from the person named on 2 April 2018.

Under 2018 Areas of Natural Constraint Scheme, all eligible applicants are required to have met a minimum stocking density of 0.15 livestock units for a retention period of seven consecutive months, in addition to maintaining an annual average of 0.15 livestock units calculated over the twelve months of the scheme year. Stocking density can be satisfied by cattle, sheep, goats, deer and equines.

While the holding of the person named has been confirmed as having satisfied the seven month retention period, it has not as yet satisfied the annual average requirement. Cases such as this are reviewed regularly and, should the holding meet these requirements, the case will be further processed with a view to payment issuing at the earliest possible date thereafter, provided all other Scheme requirements have been satisfied.

Advance payments under the Basic Payments Scheme (BPS) are due to commence on 16 October 2018 with a 70% advance payment issuing to cleared cases. The balancing payments under BPS will commence in December 2018.

TAMS Applications

Questions (400)

Tom Neville

Question:

400. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if a penalty applied to a dairy equipment targeted agricultural modernisation scheme, TAMS II, grant in respect of a person (details supplied) will be considered as an obvious error in view of the fact that on two occasions he in contact with his Department's helpline seeking clarification during the online application process; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40906/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The person named made an application for mobile sheep handling equipment under the Animal Welfare and Nutrient Storage Scheme TAMS II on 20 November 2015.

The applicant's planner contacted the Department while submitting the claim for payment and was advised to submit the required details of actual items purchased. A claim for payment was submitted on 20 July 2017 which included investments which were not purchased which resulted in an over-claim penalty being applied.

The applicant was advised of the position in a letter from the Department dated 20 August 2018. A written request for a review of this decision was received and the case is currently being reviewed by the Department. The applicant will be advised in writing of the outcome.

Should the applicant remain dissatisfied with the outcome of this review it will remain open to them to submit an appeal to the Agriculture Appeals Office.

Areas of Natural Constraint Scheme Data

Questions (401)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

401. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of farmers that have yet to receive areas of natural constraints, ANC, payments by county in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40931/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Payments under the 2018 Areas of Natural Constraints (ANC) scheme commenced, on schedule, on 18 September 2018 with payments of €185.6 million issuing to some 77,000 applicants. To date in excess of €194.4 million has issued to over 80,600 applicants.

While the total number of applicants under the 2018 scheme who have the minimum level of designated land is 100,339 it should be noted that the number of applicants actually paid on an annual basis is generally between 95,000 and 96,000. This is because many applicants fail to fulfil the scheme eligibility criteria either on area required or on stocking density and retention requirements. In such instances no ANC payment can issue. Some other applicants only qualify for payment towards the end of the year and pay runs will continue on a regular basis as further cases are cleared for payment.

The number of applicants paid to date is as follows -

County

Applicants

Number Paid

Paid Amount

Carlow

733

600

1,429,813.94

Cavan

4,736

4,125

9,441,477.93

Clare

5,989

4,974

12,459,305.70

Cork

7,056

5,526

14,497,415.34

Donegal

8,630

6,639

17,724,121.51

Dublin

159

122

300,065.08

Galway

11,865

9,627

22,948,056.08

Kerry

7,593

5,856

16,265,488.38

Kildare

528

411

840,322.07

Kilkenny

1,712

1,258

2,893,638.48

Laois

1,675

1,340

2,947,355.81

Leitrim

3,406

2,815

7,070,264.60

Limerick

2,911

2,309

4,961,282.04

Longford

2,339

1,899

4,317,028.59

Louth

784

623

1,215,765.33

Mayo

11,302

8,946

21,786,021.61

Meath

1,323

1,076

2,125,795.25

Monaghan

4,010

3,441

7,165,828.77

Offaly

2,382

1,938

4,072,989.85

Roscommon

5,558

4,628

10,808,760.60

Sligo

3,911

3,061

7,361,639.16

Tipperary

4,416

3,607

8,452,286.58

Waterford

1,417

1,094

2,684,446.60

Westmeath

2,625

2,200

4,591,013.85

Wexford

1,488

1,106

2,260,490.09

Wicklow

1,791

1,394

3,804,451.01

Total

100,339

80,615

194,425,124.25

Knowledge Transfer Programme

Questions (402)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

402. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if his attention has been drawn to problems with issued knowledge transfer payments, particularly for partnership farms (details supplied); the steps he will take to rectify the situation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40932/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Knowledge Transfer (KT) is one of a suite of measures included under the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 and involves the formation of knowledge transfer groups across the beef, dairy, equine, sheep, tillage and poultry sectors. Farmer participants attend group meetings and produce a Farm Improvement Plan in consultation with their KT Facilitator. For each year of the three year programme participants receive a reimbursement in the amount of €750 for a primary sector and €375 for a secondary sector where all requirements of the programme have been met.

Payments for Year One of the knowledge transfer (KT) programme commenced in late October 2017.

In the initial stages of the payment phase for this programme an issue arose in relation to participants who were in Registered Farm Partnerships. This issue related to the requirement to match the data in the Farm Improvement Plan to the individual farmer participants in the Registered Farm Partnerships. Officials in my Department have since rectified this issue.

To date, over 19,070 out of approximately 19,100 farmer payments, amounting to approximately €12.5m, have issued across all 6 KT Sectors.

The persons named were partners in a Registered Farm Partnership with both participating in the Knowledge Transfer Dairy Programme. The partnership was dissolved in July 2017 impacting on processing of their payments for Year One with part payment issued to one of the persons named. Work is ongoing to finalise this case and issue a balancing payment to the persons named.

Farm Data

Questions (403)

Michael Fitzmaurice

Question:

403. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of calves born in the suckler herd register on 30 June 2017 and 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40972/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The number of calves born to beef breed dams as extracted from the Animal Identification and Movement database (AIM) for the period 1 January to 30 June 2017 is 727,571. The figure for the corresponding period in 2018 is 701,833.

I am keenly aware of the importance of the suckler sector to Ireland's rural economy and the wider agri-food industry. The sector is an integral component to the overall vitality and continued strength of beef farming in rural Ireland. My Department currently provides a range of income and investment supports to suckler farmers, including direct payments and grant schemes such as BPS, ANC, GLAS and TAMS, as well as the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP). According to National Farm Survey data, suckler farmers receive support equivalent to approximately €500 per suckler cow on average.

I have also provided €20 million for a Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot Scheme in 2019.

Greyhound Industry Data

Questions (404)

Denise Mitchell

Question:

404. Deputy Denise Mitchell asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the organisation that has statutory function regarding the regulation of greyhound exports; the regulations in place in relation to same; his plans to update these regulations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40979/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The position regarding the export of dogs, including greyhounds, from Ireland is as follows:

The vast majority of dogs that are moved from Ireland go to the UK. Trade within the EU of dogs is governed by EU law. Dogs moved to another EU country must be accompanied by an EU pet passport, be microchipped, and have a valid rabies vaccination.

The premises exporting dogs must be registered with my Department in advance of the export. Before travel, dogs must undergo a clinical examination by an authorised veterinarian, who must verify that the animals show no obvious signs of disease and are fit to be transported. Dogs must also have a health certificate issued by a Department veterinarian. These procedures, including vaccination, ensure that only healthy dogs, over the age of 15 weeks, may be exported. Exporters must also comply with EU law on the protection of animals during transport. The transport of animals by air is also governed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). In this context, I am aware that a number of airlines do not transport commercial consignments of greyhounds.

The welfare of greyhounds is regulated by the Welfare of Greyhounds Act 2011 and the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013.

My Department has a close working relationship with animal welfare charities on all aspects of animal welfare. Officials of my Department have met with the welfare members of the International Greyhound Forum, which includes the Dogs Trust, the ISPCA and Bord na gCon, where issues surrounding the export of greyhounds are considered.

Departmental Expenditure

Questions (405)

Denise Mitchell

Question:

405. Deputy Denise Mitchell asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the contribution made to the World Organisation for Animal Health in each of the years 2015 to 2018, respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40980/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The OIE is the global standard setting body in respect of animal health and animal welfare. Its membership comprises 181 countries from around the world. In the years 2015 and 2016 Ireland's annual subscription was €102,765. In 2017 the annual subscription was €123,315. In 2018 this contribution increased to €126,150.

Separately, my Department entered into a commitment to fund an additional €75,000 per year in the period 2017-20 with a view to supporting the OIE's activities to enhance animal welfare worldwide.

Farm Data

Questions (406)

Pat Breen

Question:

406. Deputy Pat Breen asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when payments will issue to persons (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40993/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The person named submitted a 2018 Basic Payment/Areas of Natural Constraint schemes application on 12th May 2018. EU Regulations governing the administration of these schemes require that full and comprehensive administrative checks, including in some cases remote sensing (i.e. satellite) inspections, be completed before any payments issue.

The application of the person named was selected for a Remote Sensing eligibility inspection. Processing of this inspection necessitated the verification of the position on the ground by means of a field visit. This field visit has been completed and the results are currently being processed to finalisation with the intention of issuing any payments due to the nominated bank account of the person named as soon as possible. In the event that any queries arise officials in my Department will be in contact with the person named.

Areas of Natural Constraint Scheme Applications

Questions (407)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

407. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of an areas of natural constraint, ANC, payment for a persons (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41012/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The person named submitted a 2018 Basic Payment/Areas of Natural Constraint Schemes application on the 23rd March 2018. EU Regulations governing the administration of these schemes require that full and comprehensive administrative checks, including in some cases remote sensing (i.e. satellite) inspections, be completed before any payments issue.

The application of the person named was selected for a Remote Sensing eligibility inspection. This inspection has now been completed and the results have been processed to finalisation. Payments due under the Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme will issue shortly to the nominated bank account of the person named.

GLAS Payments

Question No. 409 answered with Question No. 383.

Questions (408)

Eamon Scanlon

Question:

408. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when advance payments under the 2018 GLAS scheme will issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41017/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The 2018 advance payments for GLAS are scheduled to commence before the end of November. All GLAS participants have been notified of this and other expected scheme delivery dates. Approval has been secured from the EU Commission to make these payments at the higher rate of 85%.

All scheme requirements must be fulfilled before a payment can issue. This includes the need to finalise Commonage Management Plans (CMPs) and to submit annual Rare Breed and Low Emission Slurry Spreading returns where these actions have been chosen as part of a GLAS plan.

Nutrient Management Plans (NMPs) must also be submitted in respect of all GLAS 3 cases. Participants are also reminded of the need to undertake a one day GLAS Training course, participants who have not done so should arranged to attend a course without delay.

Scheme participants without outstanding requirements should contact their advisors to ensure that all requirements have been met to allow the payment to be made.

Question No. 409 answered with Question No. 383.

Basic Payment Scheme Payments

Questions (410, 413)

Joe Carey

Question:

410. Deputy Joe Carey asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when an overdue farm payment will be processed and issued to persons (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41049/18]

View answer

Joe Carey

Question:

413. Deputy Joe Carey asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when an overdue farm payment will be processed and issued to persons (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41089/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 410 and 413 together.

An application under the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) was received on 27th February 2018 under the herd number provided in the name of one of the persons named. Subsequently, an application was received under the BPS in the names of both persons named.

As part of the validation process for all BPS applications, the two applications have been linked. Further processing is required to finalise the entitlement position for these applications, and this is currently being progressed.

Areas of Natural Constraint Scheme Payments

Questions (411)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

411. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when a 2018 area of natural constraints, ANC, payment will issue to a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41050/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The processing of the Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme application by the person named has been completed and payment has issued to his nominated bank account.

Young Farmer Capital Investment Scheme Data

Question No. 413 answered with Question No. 410.

Questions (412)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

412. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of a balancing payment for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41055/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The person named made an application under the Young Farmer Capital Investment Scheme of TAMS on 12 January 2017. A letter dated 15 February 2017 issued to the applicant advising that the education documents supplied did not meet the educational requirements set out in the Terms and Conditions of the Scheme to qualify for the grant of 60% under the Young Farmer Capital Investment Scheme - as distinct from the standard grant rate of 40% available under all other TAMS II measures. No further evidence was received.

A claim for payment was submitted on 29 January 2018 and payment of the 40% grant was made on the 29 March 2018. To date no documentary evidence of the educational requirements having being met has been received by my Department. Should such evidence be received the matter will be further considered.

Question No. 413 answered with Question No. 410.

Areas of Natural Constraint Scheme Payments

Questions (414)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

414. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when a 2018 area of natural constraints payment will issue to a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41090/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The processing of the Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme application by the person named has been completed and payment has issued to his nominated bank account.

EU Meetings

Questions (415)

Willie O'Dea

Question:

415. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the bilateral meetings he has had with his EU counterparts over the past six months regarding Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41196/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

As part of my ongoing efforts to ensure that my EU counterparts are fully aware of Ireland's concerns about the impact of Brexit on the agri-food and fisheries sectors, as well as ensuring that they understand our 'asks' from the EU/UK negotiations, I have engaged extensively with Member States since the UK referendum in June 2016. These engagements include formal bilateral meetings in capitals and in the margins of EU Council of Agriculture Minister meetings as well as regular, more informal, contacts around Council meetings. In the last six months these engagements have included:

- on April 16 I met the Danish Minister for Fisheries, Ms. Karen Ellemann, in the margins of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council in Luxembourg;

- I also met the Austrian Minister for Sustainability and Tourism, Ms. Elisabeth Köstinger in the margins of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council in Luxembourg on April 16;

- on April 25 I met the Dutch Minister for Agriculture, Ms. Cornelia Schouten, in The Hague;

- on 2 May I met the French Minister for Agriculture, Mr. Stéphane Travert, in Paris;

- I also met the German Minister for Agriculture, Ms. Julia Klöckner, in Berlin on 2 May;

- on 5 June I met the Belgian Minister for Agriculture, Mr. Denis Ducarme, in the margins of the Informal Meeting of EU Agriculture Ministers in Sofia, Bulgaria; and

- I also met the Danish Minister for the Environment and Food, Mr. Jakob Ellemann-Jensen, in the margins of the Informal Meeting of EU Agriculture Ministers in Sofia on 5 June.

In each of these bilateral meetings I have apprised the Ministers of the current position on the negotiations from an Irish perspective, as well as assessing the degree to which they are likely to continue supporting our efforts to have the agri-food and fisheries impacts of Brexit adequately taken account of in the negotiations.

On June 13 I met the UK Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Mr. Michael Gove, at the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in London.

In addition I chair a meeting of the European Peoples Party before each Council of Ministers meeting, during which the issue of Brexit is discussed.

I also attended the most recent Informal Council meeting in Schloss Hof in Lower Austria on 23 September where I had informal discussions with many of my colleagues on Brexit.

Further meetings are planned over the coming months, including with Romania, who will take over the Presidency of the EU in January 2019.

Farm Data

Questions (416)

Pat Breen

Question:

416. Deputy Pat Breen asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when payments will issue to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41203/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The person named submitted a 2018 Basic Payment/Areas of Natural Constraint Schemes application on the 12th May 2018. EU Regulations governing the administration of these schemes require that full and comprehensive administrative checks, including in some cases remote sensing (i.e. satellite) inspections, be completed before any payments issue.

The application of the person named was selected for a Remote Sensing eligibility inspection. This inspection is currently being processed with the intention of issuing any payments due as soon as possible. In the event that any queries arise officials in my Department will be in contact with the person named.

Farm Data

Questions (417)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

417. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the reason for the delay in payment of the area of natural constraint, ANC, scheme and the single farm payment to a person (details supplied) in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41213/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

An application under the 2018 Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme was received on 24 April 2018 from the person named. Processing of the application has recently been completed and the payment due will issue to the nominated bank account in the coming days.

Advance payments under the Basic Payment Scheme are due to commence for cleared cases on 16 October.

Official Engagements

Questions (418)

Alan Kelly

Question:

418. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he and or officials in his Department attended the 2018 Ryder Cup; if so, the reason they attended; the days on which they attended; the officials they met from a Ryder Cup organisation or the European Tour; and the costs for each individual's attendance. [41531/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Neither I nor any of my officials attended the 2018 Ryder Cup in any official capacity.