Agriculture Scheme Payments

Questions (782)

Robert Troy

Question:

782. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if payments to a person (details supplied) under the BEAM and BEEP schemes, respectively, will be expedited. [44184/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The objective of the Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM) is to provide temporary exceptional adjustment aid to farmers in the beef sector in Ireland subject to the conditions set out in EU Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1132. Applications for the BEAM were accepted from the 19th of August to the 20th of September 2019. An application from the person named is currently being processed, with payments under scheme scheduled to commence in December 2019.

The Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot scheme (BEEP) aims to further increase economic and environmental efficiency in the suckler herd through better quality date on herd performance, supporting decision making on the farm. Payments will commence shortly to BEEP participants who have completed the weighing and submission of data in respect of all of their eligible animals. As the person named is a participant and has fully completed the required actions under the Pilot, payment under this Scheme will issue shortly.

Animal Passports

Questions (783)

Jackie Cahill

Question:

783. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the reason "not fit for human consumption" would be stamped on the duplicate passport when it was not on the original passport in cases in which a horse owner loses the passport of the horse and pays €200 for a duplicate passport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44186/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/262 (CR 262/2015) sets out the rules governing the identification of equidae in the EU. This legislation was transposed into national legislation via S.I. 62 of 2016 (as amended).

The identification of an equine is the first step in ensuring the safety of the food chain. This process requires the engagement of a veterinary practitioner to mark the equine and to check for the presence of a transponder which, where present, provides an important link between the animal and its original identification document.

The administration of certain medications is recorded on the equine passport and the loss of this information represents a break in the identity and chain of information on the animal. The loss of an original document and its subsequent replacement with a duplicate passport or a replacement passport results in potentially more than one lifetime identification document in circulation in respect of the animal.

Duplicate documents are issued in accordance with Article 29 of CR 262/2015. Paragraph 2(c) of that Article provides that duplicate passports must be classified as 'not intended for slaughter for human consumption'. Similarly, Article 32(2)(c) of CR 262/2015 sets out similar requirements for replacement equine passports.

The level of fees charged for the issue of duplicate passports is a commercial matter for Passport Issuing Organisations (PIOs).

The Deputy will appreciate that it is imperative that all equine animals slaughtered for human consumption are properly identified in accordance with legislation to ensure the integrity of the food chain and the protection of human health.

Basic Payment Scheme

Questions (784)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

784. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when details of an overclaim will issue to farmers of a commonage (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44195/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The person named submitted a 2019 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) application on 14 March 2019 in which he declared a share on two commonages in County Kerry.

As outlined by the Deputy, an over claim has occurred on the Shanahill commonage and my Department is currently reviewing this over claim.

The person named was requested to submit commonage evidence. However, the details submitted are not sufficient as they do not cover the full declaration made by him on his BPS application. An official from my Department has been in touch with the person named regarding the additional commonage evidence required. Once the additional information is received, my Department will further process his application.

Beef Environmental Efficiency Scheme

Questions (785)

Peter Burke

Question:

785. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the specifications in place for the BEEP scheme (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44237/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot scheme (BEEP) aims to further increase economic and environmental efficiency in the suckler herd through better quality date on herd performance, supporting decision making on the farm. BEEP targets the weaning efficiency of suckler cows and calves through the collection of live weights of cows and progeny in the herd of each participant.

Participants cannot guess the weight of animals under the Pilot - animals must be weighed on the participant's holding on a set of scales registered with ICBF as part of the Pilot. Animals must be weighed individually and on the same day and the data submitted to ICBF within 7 days. All weights must be submitted before the 15th November 2019.

There are two options available to herd-owners for the recording of weight data as part of BEEP. These are: (i) a Rental model, whereby participants rent scales from an approved field service agent to undertake the BEEP weight recording process, or (ii) Owned, borrowed or using a third party service providers’ scales. This is where a farmer can use their own scales or one belonging to a third party. These scales will have to be pre-registered with ICBF as per the Terms and Conditions of the Pilot.

Inspections in relation to BEEP are being undertaken. This is to ensure that data submitted under the pilot is accurate. These controls can include the verification of privately owned scales, the breed of the animals involved in the pilot and the accuracy of weights submitted.

Payments have commenced to BEEP participants who have completed the weighing and submission of data in respect of all of their eligible animals. Further payments will be made in the coming weeks as more participants complete the required actions under the Pilot. Final payments are scheduled for early December 2019.

Teagasc Courses

Questions (786)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

786. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the case of a person (details supplied) will be addressed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44243/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Teagasc is responsible for the delivery and operation of the Green Cert course.

Accordingly, I have arranged that the matter be brought to the attention of Teagasc who have been requested to respond directly to the Deputy.

Agriculture Schemes

Questions (787)

Joe Carey

Question:

787. Deputy Joe Carey asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the grants available for a person or business to set up an orchard on the person's lands; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44262/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

My Department provides support to assist fruit and vegetable growers through the Scheme of Investment Aid for the Development of the Commercial Horticulture Sector. This is a competitive scheme open to all horticultural sectors – field vegetables, mushrooms, protected food crops, amenity crops, soft fruit, apples and beekeeping and provides grant aid at a rate of 40% (50% for young farmers) on approved capital investments. The grant aid aims to provide support to the horticulture industry in each sector. I can confirm that the investments funded under this scheme include fruit trees such as apple trees.

At a broader level, the EU Producer Organisation Scheme which my Department operates provides important support for the fruit and vegetable sector. This scheme which is 100% EU funded provides an important mechanism for producers to achieve a more sustainable balance in the supply chain through collaboration and enhancing bargaining power by becoming part of a larger supply base.

Members can claim 50% EU aid on approved actions and investments implemented through Producer Organisations, including actions and investments on fruit production.