asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food (a) when the EC accepted Ireland's application for pig processing plants which allowed the Twenty-six Counties to be eligible for 50 per cent FEOGA grants; (b) in view of the indication given that he expected to have four plants eligible for export licences of United States Department of Agriculture standards at the end of the year the number which have been sanctioned for grant aid by the IDA, and the number which have been submitted for planning permission to county councils.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Pig Processing Plants.
The EC regulation providing for 50 per cent grant aid for all pigmeat processing plants in Ireland was approved by the Council of Ministers in early February 1987.
As the Deputy is aware, one of the greatest needs of the pigmeat industry is the provision of modern well equipped slaughtering and processing facilities.
By way of supplementary, this proposal was accepted by the Council of Ministers?
It was agreed at a meeting of the Council on 9 February 1987. The introduction of the increased grants for pigmeat projects coincided with a sharp reduction in the aggregate amount of funds made available by the Commission to finance the FEOGA project scheme. The Department made strong representations to the Commission for additional funds to finance the higher level of grants and the Commission agreed on 10 March 1987 to make available an additional 20 million ECUs, which is £15 million, over three years by way of an advance of FEOGA moneys under the FEOGA grant project scheme.
Cheers for Deputy Deasy.