Forestry Management

Ceisteanna (283)

Martin Kenny

Ceist:

283. Deputy Martin Kenny asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the water testing that has been done under the existing acid-sensitivity protocol developed by his Department, the EPA and COFORD to protect watercourses from acidification arising from Sitka spruce forests; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44328/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

Under the DAFM/EPA Acid Sensitivity Protocol, afforestation applications within certain defined areas of the country must be accompanied by water sampling at pre-approval stage, to assess the sensitivity of receiving waters to acidification.

In summary, sampling and analysis by an accredited laboratory must be carried out on at least four separate occasions within the period 1st February to the 31st May inclusive, with each sample taken at least 28 days apart. Where the minimum alkalinity of any one of the four samples taken is <8 mg CaCO3 / litre, no afforestation is permitted. If the result is 8-15 mg CaCO3 / litre, full, partial or no afforestation may be approved, following discussion and agreement between DAFM, EPA and Inland Fisheries Ireland. If the result is >15 mg CaCO3 / litre, afforestation may be licensed.  Where landowners or foresters get negative water sample results they may not proceed with potential applications.

It should be noted that, since early 2013, water sampling under the Acid Sensitivity Protocol is not required for afforestation applications which relate to native woodland creation, as these are not considered to have the same potential acidifying effect as other categories of afforestation. 

The water testing results are available in the following link:

Water Samples

Departmental Staff Data

Ceisteanna (284)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

284. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the breakdown of staff in his Department by grade. [44347/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

In response to the Deputy, the breakdown of staff by grade in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is as follows:

Administrative Officer

32

Advisory Counsel Grade 3

2

Assistant Secretary

8

Assistant Principal

149

Cleaner

6

Clerical Officer

776

Executive Officer

525

First Assistant Solicitor Agriculture

1

Higher Executive Officer

283

Librarian

1

Ministers Staff

5

Principal

40

Principal Solicitor

1

Professional Accountant

1

Services Staff

37

State Solicitor

1

Statistician

1

Craft Chargehand

1

Craftsman

7

General Operative

53

Harbour Constable

2

Industrial Foreman

4

Technical Grades Level 4

1

Agricultural Inspector

74

Assistant Agricultural Inspector

143

Chief Inspector

1

Engineer Grade 1 Civil

7

Engineer Grade 2 Civil

7

Engineer Grade 3 Civil

7

Forestry Ecologist

1

Forestry Inspector Grade 1

8

Forestry Inspector Grade 2

9

Forestry Inspector Grade 3

20

Harbour Master

6

Inspector Grade 2

1

Senior Inspector

16

Chemist

3

Deputy Chief Analyst

4

Director Of Laboratories

1

Head Of Agricultural Laboratories

1

Higher Seed Analyst

4

Laboratory Analyst

102

Laboratory Attendant

18

Quality Manager

6

Seed Analyst

11

Senior Chemist

1

Senior Laboratory Analyst

29

Senior Seed Analyst

1

Senior Serological Assistant

1

Serological Assistant

34

Supervising Serological Assistant

6

Area Superintendent

8

District Superintendent

71

Engineer Technician Grade 2 Civil

1

Supervisory Agricultural Off

177

Technical Agricultural Off

388

Chief Veterinary Officer

1

Deputy Chief Veterinary Off

1

Research Officer

18

Senior Research Officer

13

Senior Superintend Vet Insp

9

Superintendant Sen Research Off

4

Superintending Vet Insp

37

Veterinary Inspector

206

Wholetime Temp Vet Inspector

9

Grand Total

3402

Forestry Management

Ceisteanna (285)

Martin Kenny

Ceist:

285. Deputy Martin Kenny asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans to ensure that existing forests are appropriately restructured post clear fell to reflect water and other environmental sensitivities on the ground; and the number of sites in the policy as set out in the publication, Woodlands for Water, and in the felling and reforestation policy which have been implemented in each of the years 2008 to 2017. [44390/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

My Department’s “Reforestation and Felling Policy” document sets out the standard silvicultural and environmental requirements that will apply to new forests established post clearfell. A forest owner wishing to apply for a felling licence is required to specify on the felling licence application and accompanying map, the reforestation objective(s) s/he is proposing to pursue for the next rotation. These reforestation objectives reflect different options regarding the next rotation, from commercial conifers to native woodlands for water protection and biodiversity. The existing Native Woodlands Conservation Scheme can be used to support the conversion of uniform Sitka spruce stands to native woodlands along sensitive watercourses. A new scheme to support continuous cover forestry objectives was included in the mid-term review of the Forestry Programme 2014 -2020.

As part of its assessment of the felling licence application, my Department considers the suitability of the reforestation objective(s) being proposed, thereby informing decisions regarding referrals, the Appropriate Assessment Procedure and conditions to be attached.

The “Reforestation and Felling Policy” document was published in May 2017 and applied to all felling licences issued from that date. In this regard a total of 5,300 licences were issued.

The “Woodland for Water” document was published in June 2018 and sets out a model whereby areas of new native woodland are planted by farmers and other landowners availing of the grants and 15-year premiums under the Native Woodland Establishment Scheme. The focus of this type of woodland establishment is to realise the valuable ecosystem services such forests deliver. Since June 2018, a total of 183 hectares of native woodlands have been established comprising of 44 individual sites.

Wildlife Conservation

Ceisteanna (286)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Ceist:

286. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans to initiate an investigation into whether myxomatosis has already been found in hares by coursing club personnel, veterinary personnel that attend some coursing meetings, wildlife rangers attached to the National Parks and Wildlife Service or by other persons involved with wildlife conservation or hunting activities; and the veterinary or other measures that will be implemented to protect hares here from myxomatosis. [44414/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The outbreaks of myxomatosis reported in the UK are in Brown Hares, a species we do not have in Ireland. The Irish Hare, a subspecies of the Mountain Hare, is a related but different species. No cases of myxomatosis in Mountain Hares have been reported in the current UK outbreak. My Department has had no reports of myxomatosis or any other cause of increased mortality in Irish Hares. My Department's Regional Veterinary Laboratories (RVLs) have been in contact with the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and I understand that NPWS has made contact with their coursing contacts to raise awareness of the UK incidents, to increase vigilance for the disease, and to ensure that both NPWS and coursing clubs are aware that RVLs will investigate any suspect cases free of charge.

Forestry Grants

Ceisteanna (287)

Jackie Cahill

Ceist:

287. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the cost of proposals (details supplied) in tabular from. [44446/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The estimated additional cost to the Exchequer based on 2017 planting figures are as follows:

GPC

2017 ha

Grant rate (N)

N+2.5%

N+5%

N+7.5%

N+10%

N+12.5%

N+15%

N+17.5%

N+20%

N+22.5%

N+25%

4

427.23

€4,310

€46,034.03

€92,068.07

€138,102.10

€184,136.13

€230,170.16

€276,204.20

€322,238.23

€368,272.26

€414,306.29

€460,340.33

5

30.41

€5,880

€4,470.27

€8,940.54

€13,410.81

€17,881.08

€22,351.35

€26,821.62

€31,291.89

€35,762.16

€40,232.43

€44,702.70

6

227.64

€6,220

€35,398.02

€70,796.04

€106,194.06

€141,592.08

€176,990.10

€212,388.12

€247,786.14

€283,184.16

€318,582.18

€353,980.20

7

4.08

€6,220

€634.44

€1,268.88

€1,903.32

€2,537.76

€3,172.20

€3,806.64

€4,441.08

€5,075.52

€5,709.96

€6,344.40

8

193.08

€4,195

€20,249.27

€40,498.53

€60,747.80

€80,997.06

€101,246.33

€121,495.59

€141,744.86

€161,994.12

€182,243.39

€202,492.65

9

199.85

€6,220

€31,076.67

€62,153.35

€93,230.03

€124,306.70

€155,383.38

€186,460.05

€217,536.73

€248,613.40

€279,690.08

€310,766.75

10

70.02

€5,880

€10,292.94

€20,585.88

€30,878.82

€41,171.76

€51,464.70

€61,757.64

€72,050.58

€82,343.52

€92,636.46

€102,929.40

Forestry Grants

Ceisteanna (288)

Jackie Cahill

Ceist:

288. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the cost of proposals (details supplied) in tabular form. [44447/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The estimated additional cost to the Exchequer based on 2017 planting figures are as follows (Premium Rates);

GPC's

2017 ha

premium rate (N)

N+2.5%

N+5%

N+7.5%

N+10%

N+12.5%

N+15%

N+17.5%

N+20%

N+22.5%

N+25%

4

427.23

€590

€94,524.64

€189,049.28

€283,573.91

€378,098.55

€472,623.19

€567,147.83

€661,672.46

€756,197.10

€850,721.74

€945,246.38

5

30.41

€605

€6,899.27

€13,798.54

€20,697.81

€27,597.08

€34,496.34

€41,395.61

€48,294.88

€55,194.15

€62,093.42

€68,992.69

6

227.64

€645

€55,060.42

€110,120.85

€165,181.28

€220,241.70

€275,302.13

€330,362.55

€385,422.98

€440,483.40

€495,543.83

€550,604.25

7

4.048

€645

€986.85

€1,973.70

€2,960.55

€3,947.40

€4,934.25

€5,921.10

€6,907.95

€7,894.80

€8,881.65

€9,868.50

8

193.08

€605

€43,805.03

€87,610.05

€131,415.08

€175,220.10

€219,025.13

€262,830.15

€306,635.18

€350,440.20

€394,245.23

€438,050.25

9

199.85

€665

€49,837.59

€99,675.19

€149,512.78

€199,350.38

€249,187.97

€299,025.56

€348,863.16

€398,700.75

€448,538.34

€498,375.94

10

70.02

€665

€17,461.24

€34,922.48

€52,383.71

€69,844.95

€87,306.19

€104,767.43

€122,228.66

€139,689.90

€157,151.14

€174,612.38

 

Forestry Data

Ceisteanna (289)

Jackie Cahill

Ceist:

289. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of active participants in each of the forestry schemes in tabular form (details supplied). [44448/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The Afforestation Scheme offers a fixed grant towards establishment costs and a premium each year for a maximum period of 15 years. The overall scheme comprises various Grant and Premium Categories (GPCs) and beneficiaries may partake in more than one GPC.

The number of active recipients, that is those who received a premium payment in 2017, is 825, but each individual recipient may have received premiums under different GPCs. The table below shows the number of active participants in each of the GPCs.

GPC1 – Unenclosed land

58

GPC2 – Sitka spruce/Lodgepole pine

0

GPC3 – 15% Diverse conifers, e.g. Sitka spruce and 15% broadleaves

695

GPC4 – Diverse conifers, e.g. Scots pine, Douglas Fir

78

GPC5 – Broadleaf, e.g. sycamore

21

GPC6 – Oak

123

GPC7 – Beech

7

GPC8 – Alder and Birch

122

GPC9 – Native Woodland Establishment (oak-birch-holly-hazel)

43

GPC10 – Native Woodland Establishment (alder-oak woodland)

22

GPC11 – Agro-forestry

0

GPC12 – Forestry-for-fibre

0

Woodland Improvement Scheme

Ceisteanna (290)

Jackie Cahill

Ceist:

290. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the 2018 allocation towards the woodland fund. [44449/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

I was pleased to recently launch the pilot Woodland Environmental Fund (WEF). Native woodlands are an important part of Ireland’s natural heritage, history and culture, and are unique in terms of their biodiversity. The objective of the Woodland Environmental Fund (WEF) is to facilitate the planting of more native woodlands within Ireland in light of their proven environmental benefits. In doing so, the fund offers an opportunity for businesses to partner with Government and private landowners in creating these diverse woodland habitats.

WEF funding comprises a once off single top up of €1,000/hectare by the partnered business, following payment of the first grant and premium by the Department under its Native Woodland Establishment Scheme.

My Department's also facilitates contact between foresters and their clients with the Natural Capital Facilitators (NCF). The NCFs will then liaise with the businesses to find projects that best match the businesses' expectations. As the top-up of €1,000/ha is paid for by the businesses involved, my Department's contribution is our payments under the Native Woodland Establishment Scheme. This scheme does not have a specific allocation within the Forestry budget but it remains fully open for applications and will be open next year also.

Departmental Budgets

Ceisteanna (291)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

291. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the breakdown of the €3,485,000 capital allocation in food safety, animal and plant health and animal welfare (details supplied) within his Department for 2019 by specific project; the projects that will be commenced and completed in 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44502/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The €3,485,000 capital allocations for the food safety, animal and plant health and animal welfare for 2019 will fund projects in my Department particularly in relation to ensuring the Department continues to maintain a robust and responsive IT infrastructure to support and to assist DAFM in maintaining its certified ISO 27001 Information Security Standard. This allocation will also be used to provide maintenance works at the Departments laboratories.

Departmental Budgets

Ceisteanna (292)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

292. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the breakdown of the €160,746,000 capital allocation in farm sector supports and controls (details supplied) within his Department for 2019 by specific project; the projects that will be commenced and completed in 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44503/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The €160,746,000 capital allocations for the Farm Sector Supports and Controls for 2019 will fund projects in my Department particularly in relation to Targeted Agricultural Measures (TAMS) which is a measure under the Rural Development Programme (RDP) 2014-2020, it will also fund the Forestry Programme which is targeted at various support schemes including covering the cost of establishing new forests and the cost of annual premiums. This allocation will also provide assistance in the development of the Commercial Horticulture Sector by grant aiding capital investments in specialised buildings and equipment, as well as the provision of funding in the Organic Sector to support the development of the sector to respond to market demand for organically produced food. More detailed information on the breakdown of this allocation will be available in the Revised Estimates Volume (REV) which will be published later this year.

Departmental Budgets

Ceisteanna (293)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

293. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the breakdown of the €34,055,000 capital allocation in policy and strategy (details supplied) within his Department for 2019 by specific project; the projects that will be commenced and completed in 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44504/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The €34,055,000 capital allocations for the Policy and Strategy for 2019 will allow, in particular, funding of capital grants for food companies, to Teagasc and also the provision of funding for the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund which facilitates the sustained development and growth of the horse and greyhound industries. It will also include the Prepared Consumer Food Centre in Ashtown and the National Food Innovation Hub at Moorepark.More detailed information on the breakdown of this allocation will be available in the Revised Estimates Volume (REV) which will be published later this year.

Departmental Budgets

Ceisteanna (294)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

294. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the breakdown of the €56,714,000 capital allocation in the seafood sector (details supplied) within his Department for 2019 by specific project; the projects that will be commenced and completed in 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44505/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The €56,714,000 capital allocation for the seafood sector for 2019 will fund projects in my Department, Bord Iascaigh Mhara, the Marine Institute and the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority and will include, inter alia, projects under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Programme. In general, it is not possible at this time to identify specific projects to be funded in 2019 by these financial allocations, as annual budgetary allocations are but the first step in various approval processes that will occur up to and over the course of 2019 within my Department, and between my Department and the agencies concerned. Details of allocations to each organisation will be available in the revised book of estimates which will be published later this year.

Brexit Issues

Ceisteanna (295)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

295. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the exact amount of Exchequer funding his Department has allocated in each of the years and expended since June 2016 on upgrading infrastructure at Dublin and Rosslare ports in order to prepare for the possibility of the UK becoming a third country with the EU and the increased export certification sanitary and phytosanitary controls required. [44513/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

My Department has been engaged in extensive consultations with the Office of Public Works to identify additional infrastructural requirements in ports and airports. This engagement process is ongoing and includes facilities for sanitary and phytosanitary checks.

To date my Department has had no expenditure in relation to this process.