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Agriculture Scheme Eligibility

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 20 June 2017

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Ceisteanna (1622)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

1622. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans to carry out new inspections in relation to the eligibility of hill land for the basic payment scheme; if there has been a change of criteria being used to establish eligibility; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27273/17]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The EU regulations governing the various area-based Direct Payment Schemes and Rural Development measures requires my Department to carry out on-the-spot inspections annually to ensure compliance with the eligibility requirements, including land eligibility, of the various schemes. In the case of land eligibility inspections, the requirement is for 5% of beneficiaries to be inspected and such inspections involve examination of all land types declared by an applicant, including “hill land”. There has been no change to the inspection requirement as prescribed in the relevant EU legislation.

For land to be eligible for the various area-based schemes it must be “agricultural area” or “agricultural land”. This is clearly stated in the booklet “A Guide to Land Eligibility” which my Department issued to all farmers in 2015. The booklet describes the type of land that is agricultural area/land and the type of land that is not agricultural area/land.

There has been no change to the criteria being used to establish land eligibility since the publication of the “A Guide to Land Eligibility” booklet in 2015.

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