Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Ceisteanna (402)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

402. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if his attention has been drawn to problems with issued knowledge transfer payments, particularly for partnership farms (details supplied); the steps he will take to rectify the situation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40932/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

Knowledge Transfer (KT) is one of a suite of measures included under the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 and involves the formation of knowledge transfer groups across the beef, dairy, equine, sheep, tillage and poultry sectors. Farmer participants attend group meetings and produce a Farm Improvement Plan in consultation with their KT Facilitator. For each year of the three year programme participants receive a reimbursement in the amount of €750 for a primary sector and €375 for a secondary sector where all requirements of the programme have been met.

Payments for Year One of the knowledge transfer (KT) programme commenced in late October 2017.

In the initial stages of the payment phase for this programme an issue arose in relation to participants who were in Registered Farm Partnerships. This issue related to the requirement to match the data in the Farm Improvement Plan to the individual farmer participants in the Registered Farm Partnerships. Officials in my Department have since rectified this issue.

To date, over 19,070 out of approximately 19,100 farmer payments, amounting to approximately €12.5m, have issued across all 6 KT Sectors.

The persons named were partners in a Registered Farm Partnership with both participating in the Knowledge Transfer Dairy Programme. The partnership was dissolved in July 2017 impacting on processing of their payments for Year One with part payment issued to one of the persons named. Work is ongoing to finalise this case and issue a balancing payment to the persons named.