Written answers

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Department of Agriculture and Food

Rural Development

6:00 am

Photo of Johnny BradyJohnny Brady (Meath West, Fianna Fail)
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Question 157: To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he will announce details of a new agri-environment scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3678/10]

Photo of Brendan SmithBrendan Smith (Minister, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food; Cavan-Monaghan, Fianna Fail)
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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.

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