Written Answers. - Barley Production.

59.

asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the number of acres of barley grown and approximate tonnage involved annually to meet the supply requirements of the Irish distilling industry; and his policy proposals to encourage such production in the future.

The area of barley sown in 1987 was 276,800 hectares (684,000 acres). The level of barley requirements for the distilling industry is dependent on the demand which varies from year to year. It is understood that distillers have a capacity to use about 42,000 tonnes per year and adequate supplies are normally available to meet the industry's requirements in this regard.

Barley production is governed by the EC Common Agricultural Policy for cereals and producers must operate within this framework.