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Forestry Sector

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 25 November 2021

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Ceisteanna (380)

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

380. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if afforestation and forestry are regarded as an agricultural activity in the current Common Agricultural Policy; if it will be regarded as same in the next CAP; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [58236/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

In accordance with Article 4 of the draft Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing rules on support for strategic plans to be drawn up by Member States under the common agricultural policy, Member States shall provide in their CAP Strategic Plans the definitions of ‘agricultural activity’, ‘agricultural area’, ‘eligible hectare’, ‘active farmer’, ‘young farmer’ and ‘new farmer’, as well as the relevant conditions in accordance with this Article.

It is set out in Article 4(2) that ‘agricultural activity’ shall be determined is such a way that it allows to contribute to the provision of private and public goods through one or both of the following:

(a) the production of agricultural products, which includes actions such as raising animals or cultivation including by way of paludiculture, where agricultural products means products listed in Annex I to the TFEU with the exception of fishery products, as well as cotton and short rotation coppice;

(b) the maintenance of the agricultural area in a state which makes it suitable for grazing or cultivation, without preparatory action going beyond the use of usual agricultural methods and machinery.

Article 4(3) of this draft Regulation stipulates that 'Agricultural area' shall be determined in such a way as to comprise arable land, permanent crops and permanent grassland, including when they form agroforestry systems on that area.

This means that forestry, except for agroforestry, is not regarded as an ‘agricultural activity’ in the draft Regulation.

However, direct payments are eligible to be made on areas afforested, in accordance with the conditions set out in Article 4(4).c(iii) of the draft Regulation and as part of the determinations of the ‘eligible hectare’.

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