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Agriculture Schemes

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 14 December 2021

Tuesday, 14 December 2021

Questions (798)

Matt Carthy


798. Deputy Matt Carthy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his proposals to incentivise and support poultry farmers to invest in and adopt best available technology in order to reduce ammonia emissions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61879/21]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

My Department is committed to the reduction of ammonia emissions and, to this end, published the Code of Good Agricultural Practice for Reducing Ammonia Emissions from Agriculture on 12th January 2021.

There are a wide variety of items available under the suite of seven measures under TAMS which help with the reduction of ammonia emissions. Support for poultry farmers is provided under the Young Farmers Capitals Investment Scheme, and the Pig and Poultry Scheme measures under TAMS.

High concentrations of ammonia in poultry houses should be avoided, thereby minimising negative impacts on bird health and performance. Good flock management practices are a factor in controlling ammonia concentrations, including stocking density and diet management and temperature adjustments in the houses.

Controlling the ventilation rate is crucial. When ammonia levels increase, more ventilation is needed.

Accordingly, measures to help reduce ammonia emissions include ventilation fans and control system for free range layer house and broiler houses and drinker systems. Additionally, grant aid for the provision of energy efficient upgrades to buildings is a significant contributor to the control and reduction of ammonia levels in and emissions from poultry houses. Details of all grant-aided investments are available on my Department's website.

To date, total expenditure under the seven measures of TAMS, including transitional expenditure, has exceeded €325million with commitments of an additional €145million made to scheme participants who have yet to draw down those grants. Some 45,595 applications have been approved under the scheme. A total of €1.7 million has been paid to date to 168 Poultry farmers under TAMS II. No changes to the TAMS eligibility and technical criteria involved are being proposed at this time.

The On-Farm Capital investment scheme, as is the case with all proposals under the CAP Strategic Plan (CSP), is in the process of development and is subject to the formal approval of the European Commission. The public consultation on the Environmental Assessment of the draft CAP Strategic Plan 2023-2027 closed on 8th December 2021, and I will be reviewing the proposal in advance of the submission of the proposal to the Commission by 1st January 2022.