Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Questions (569)

Eugene Murphy

Question:

569. Deputy Eugene Murphy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the reason an average of 21 participants per week have dropped out of the beef data genomics programme during the first four months of 2019 with unclaimed funding rising to €9 million per year; his views on whether the strict conditions are proving prohibitive and unattractive for farmers that are leaving the scheme in such large numbers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26887/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

BDGP I and BDGP II commenced in 2015 and 2017 respectively, and both will run for six years. They represent a significant commitment for participating farmers over the duration of the programmes, and it is inevitable that some participants will seek to withdraw at some stage for a variety of reasons.

The Deputy should be aware that the number of withdrawal requests received over the first six months of 2019 is 80, which equates to some three participants each week.

A significant proportion of withdrawals each year are due to reasons such as ill health, and in such cases, Force Majeure, as provided for by EU Regulations and in the Terms and Conditions of the Programmes, may be applied with no recoupment of monies paid. However, in a number of cases annually, withdrawals are due to other reasons that will require any monies paid over the course of the programme to be repaid in accordance with the regulations.

Following supplementary payments that were made recently for 2018, payments totalling €42.8M have been made to 23,483 participants which represents 96% of those still active in the BDGP programmes.