Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Questions (124)

Matt Carthy


124. Deputy Matt Carthy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans for the transitionary period of the Common Agriculture Policy; the schemes that will remain operational; and his plans regarding convergence and other proposals for the period. [23967/20]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

My thanks to the Deputy for this question. It is an issue that is at the top of my agenda, and I have already met with some of the farm bodies since my appointment to hear their views. 

The issue is somewhat complicated by the ongoing delay in the adoption of the transitional rules, which is not now expected until late October at the earliest. Budgetary details will have to be incorporated into the regulations after agreement on the EU budget has been reached with the European Parliament, and the duration of the transition period - one or two years - is also still to be finally agreed.

Regarding the plans for the existing schemes under the Rural Development Programme, no final decisions will be made, including in relation to agri-environment schemes, until we have clarification on budget and duration.

On convergence and other proposals, these will require further consideration, and I am currently consulting widely on these matters. We will need to ensure that what we do in the transitional period is consistent with Programme for Government commitments, as well as providing a solid foundation for the development of our CAP Strategic Plan for the period to 2027. In addition, the very ambitious targets set out in the EU Bio-Diversity Strategy and Farm to Fork Strategy will have to be taken into account. 

I intend to continue my meetings with the farm bodies and stakeholders over the coming weeks to hear their views.  I am also conscious that we have very limited time to make decisions and implement workable solutions.