Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Ceisteanna (282)

Andrew Doyle

Ceist:

356 Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he has plans to review the age limit restriction to new applicants wishing to enter the milk quota system for the first time; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18074/08]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food)

The allocation of milk quota to new entrants has been a feature of the milk quota regime for a number of years. New entrants under 35 years of age received preferential access to milk quota from a specially created priority pool under the Milk Quota Restructuring Scheme until 2007, and the same priority pool arrangement continued into the Milk Quota Trading Scheme. It facilitates the acquisition by new entrants of up to 350,000 litres of quota (500,000 litres if farming in partnership with a parent) before they must pay the exchange, or market, price. Indeed, the quantities of quota available to new entrants in their own right, and to new entrants farming in partnership with parents, have been considerably increased as a result of the introduction of the Trading Scheme in 2007. The Trading Scheme in respect of quota allocations for the 2008/2009 milk quota year was completed in March, and the Scheme is currently undergoing a review in consultation with the farming organisations and ICOS. Among other issues, the review is considering whether new entrants over 35 years of age should be allowed access to milk quota under the Scheme.