Written answers

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Agriculture Scheme Eligibility

Photo of Charlie McConalogueCharlie McConalogue (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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171. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 325 of 8 October 2019, the number of applicants selected for a remote sensing inspection in respect of the various 2019 area-based schemes; the number of inspections in respect of the cases that have taken place; the number finalised and processed to payment stage; and the number of such applicants who have and have not received their 2019 payments by county in tabular form. [45864/19]

Photo of Michael CreedMichael Creed (Cork North West, Fine Gael)
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EU regulations governing the administration of the Basic Payment Scheme, the Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme and other area-based schemes require that full and comprehensive administrative checks, including Ground or Remote Sensing (Satellite) inspections where applicable, are fully completed to ensure eligibility with the various schemes requirements before any payments issue. There are certain minimum numbers of inspections that must take place annually under the various schemes. Some 6,840 applicants have been selected for a Remote Sensing inspection in respect of the various 2019 area-based schemes.

The table below details the position on Remote Sensing inspections, as of 6th November, in relation to the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), Greening and the Areas of Natural Constraints/Areas of Specific Constraints (Islands) Schemes (ANC/Islands).

The data is being provided at national level as the annual inspections programme, including the risk analysis selection process, operates on a national basis. Therefore, any comparison on a county basis is meaningless.

Payments under the Protein Aid Scheme, Young Farmers Scheme and Beef Data and Genomics Programme are due to commence in early December, therefore detailed data in relation to these schemes is not yet available.

Scheme No. of Eligible Applicants subject to Remote Sensing Inspection No. of Inspection Cases Fully Completed & Advanced to Payment Stage No. of Inspection Cases Fully Completed & Paid No. of Inspections Cases Fully Completed & Not Paid No. of Inspections to be Completed/ Finalised
BPS 6,611 5,227 5,155 72 1,384
Greening 6,611 5,227 5,069 158 1,384
ANC/Islands 5,820 4,695 3,944 751 1,125

In many cases, the existence of an inspection will not necessarily be delaying payment. In relation to the ANC/Islands Schemes, these schemes are subject to a range of eligibility and compliance criteria such as the requirement to meet a minimum stocking density in addition to maintaining minimum livestock units calculated over the twelve months of the scheme year. At this stage, a number of farmers are not eligible to receive payment, however they may become eligible for payment later in the year when such criteria have been met. Factors that may impact on payment issuing under BPS/Greening would be, for example, applications to transfer entitlements, change in ownership request, etc.

The inspections yet to be completed are at various stages of final processing and once fully completed, will advance to payment stage.

My Department continues to finalise the outcome of Remote Sensing inspections on a daily basis to ensure that BPS, Greening and ANC/Islands Schemes payments due are issued as quickly as possible.

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