Wednesday, 27 January 2010
Department of Agriculture and Food
Ireland's amended rural development programme, including a new agri-environment scheme, was presented to the EU Rural Development Management Committee in Brussels on 20 January. This followed detailed and protracted discussions with the Commission. The committee agreed the programme and the Commission will now proceed to take a formal decision to approve it. This procedure is expected to take a number of weeks.
The new agri-environment scheme is focused on the priority areas of biodiversity, water management and climate change. It will offer a menu of measures addressing these priorities from which farmers may choose, provided they complement the environmental profile of the holding. Details on the operation of the new scheme are currently being finalised and I intend to launch the scheme once the formal Commission approval has been received.