Thursday, 12 June 2014
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Agriculture Schemes Payments
163. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if stud farms and other equine farms are entitled to apply for Pillar 1 payments under the Common Agricultural Policy programme 2015-2020 on all their land; if there has been a change of rule in this regard from the CAP programme 2007-2014; the number of applications received from stud farms for either the allocation or purchase of single farm payment entitlements; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25089/14]
To be eligible to participate in the new Basic Payment Scheme, a farmer must submit an application for the allocation of entitlements under the Basic Payment Scheme before the closing date which will be the 15th May 2015. S/he must be an active farmer carrying out an agricultural activity or at least maintaining the land in good agricultural environmental condition. On marginal land a minimum level of activity will be required.
In addition, a farmer must be eligible to receive an allocation of entitlements. Any farmer who was entitled to receive a direct payment in 2013 (Single Payment, Grassland Sheep Scheme, Burren Life Scheme, Beef Data Scheme) is automatically eligible to receive an allocation of new entitlements under the Basic Payment Scheme in 2015. Farmers who have stud farms or other equine farms and who were entitled to receive a direct payment in 2013 are eligible to receive an allocation of new Basic Payment Scheme entitlements.
The number of entitlements allocated will be based on the number of hectares of eligible land declared by the farmer in 2013 or in 2015, whichever is the lesser. The value of entitlements will be a percentage of the value of the Single Payment entitlements owned by the farmer in 2014, together with the value of the Grassland Sheep payment, if any.
A farmer who is not automatically eligible to receive an allocation of new entitlements under the Basic Payment Scheme in 2015, but who was actively farming in 2013, may qualify for an allocation under the "Scottish Derogation". The so-called Scottish Derogation provides for an allocation of entitlements under the new Basic Payment Scheme in 2015 to persons who never held entitlements, either owned or leased, under the current Single Payment Scheme. In addition such persons must provide verifiable evidence that they produced an agricultural product in the beef, dairying, sheep or arable sectors in 2013. Stud farms and other equine farms who were not also engaged in the named sectors would therefore not be eligible for an allocation of Basic Payment Scheme entitlements under this category.
The statistics you have requested in respect of the number of applications received from stud farms or other equine farms for the allocation or purchase of Single Payment entitlements are not recorded by the Single Payment Division of my Department.