Thursday, 15 July 2021
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
61. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the alternative products being considered for use in sowing maize following the implementation of the EU Directive 2019/904; when these alternatives will be made available; the estimated cost of these alternatives; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38311/21]
The Deputy may be aware that the Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications recently signed into force, national regulations prohibiting the use of single use plastics as required under the provisions in EU Council Directive 2019/904.
I understand that the industry is developing alternative products for use in the sowing of maize that will comply with the new requirements set down by this EU Directive. As this is a commercial issue, I am not aware of the costs associated.
In terms of support for the sector, the Department re-commenced Value for Cultivation and Use (VCU) trials for uncovered maize, in 2020 as a means to identify varieties better suited to Irish growing conditions and which do not require plastic covering. This work will build on the 2015 'Uncovered Recommended List' in which a high performing variety was identified and which is currently available on the Irish market for growers.