Thursday, 1 February 2018

Ceisteanna (246)

Charlie McConalogue


246. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of suckler herd numbers per county in each of the years 2010 to 2017, in tabular form; and the number of suckler farmers per county [5163/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

I will forward the information sought by the deputy in relation to the breakdown of suckler farmers by county shortly.

I am very much aware of the importance of the suckler sector to Ireland's rural economy and the wider agrifood industry. My Department currently provides a range of supports to the suckler herd. A number of direct payment and grant schemes provide vital income and investment support to the suckler sector, including BPS, ANC, GLAS and TAMS.

The Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) is the main support specifically targeted for the suckler sector, which provides Irish beef farmers with some €300 million in funding over the current Rural Development Programme period. Responding to significant demand, last year I reopened the BDGP programme for new entrants, reflecting the success of this programme, which targets both the environmental footprint and the profitability of the suckler herd through improving the genetic merit in participating herds. There are currently approximately 25,000 herds covered between the two schemes.

The deferred reply under Standing Order 42A was forwarded to the Deputy.