Written answers

Thursday, 15 July 2021

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Agriculture Schemes

Photo of Holly CairnsHolly Cairns (Cork South West, Social Democrats)
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460. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his views on increasing the ewe payment to €30 per animal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38868/21]

Photo of Charlie McConalogueCharlie McConalogue (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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I am very conscious of the important role that the sheep sector plays in the continued growth and development of our agri-food sector, and its valuable contribution to the rural economy.

The strong performance of the sector in 2020 has continued into 2021 and I am delighted that farmers are being rewarded from the market for their hard work. Reductions in production globally and increased demand are expected to support continued strong performance throughout 2021. The current average price is €6.17 per kg, which is 21% above the same period last year.

The Sheep Welfare Scheme was introduced in December 2016 as part of Ireland’s Rural Development Programme, having been agreed with the European Commission. In the four years of the scheme to date, €66.9 million has been paid to 18,268 farmers. The Sheep Welfare scheme has been extended in 2021 as part of the transition arrangements prior to the next CAP.

There are currently no plans to increase the rate of payment under the Sheep Welfare Scheme.

I can assure the Deputy that I am committed to supporting the sustainable development of the sheep sector.

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