Tuesday, 14 December 2021
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
798. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his proposals to incentivise and support poultry farmers to invest in and adopt best available technology in order to reduce ammonia emissions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61879/21]
My Department is committed to the reduction of ammonia emissions and, to this end, published the Code of Good Agricultural Practice for Reducing Ammonia Emissions from Agriculture on 12th January 2021.
There are a wide variety of items available under the suite of seven measures under TAMS which help with the reduction of ammonia emissions. Support for poultry farmers is provided under the Young Farmers Capitals Investment Scheme, and the Pig and Poultry Scheme measures under TAMS.
High concentrations of ammonia in poultry houses should be avoided, thereby minimising negative impacts on bird health and performance. Good flock management practices are a factor in controlling ammonia concentrations, including stocking density and diet management and temperature adjustments in the houses.
Controlling the ventilation rate is crucial. When ammonia levels increase, more ventilation is needed.
Accordingly, measures to help reduce ammonia emissions include ventilation fans and control system for free range layer house and broiler houses and drinker systems. Additionally, grant aid for the provision of energy efficient upgrades to buildings is a significant contributor to the control and reduction of ammonia levels in and emissions from poultry houses. Details of all grant-aided investments are available on my Department's website.
To date, total expenditure under the seven measures of TAMS, including transitional expenditure, has exceeded €325million with commitments of an additional €145million made to scheme participants who have yet to draw down those grants. Some 45,595 applications have been approved under the scheme. A total of €1.7 million has been paid to date to 168 Poultry farmers under TAMS II. No changes to the TAMS eligibility and technical criteria involved are being proposed at this time.
The On-Farm Capital investment scheme, as is the case with all proposals under the CAP Strategic Plan (CSP), is in the process of development and is subject to the formal approval of the European Commission. The public consultation on the Environmental Assessment of the draft CAP Strategic Plan 2023-2027 closed on 8th December 2021, and I will be reviewing the proposal in advance of the submission of the proposal to the Commission by 1st January 2022.
799. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 355 of 20 May 2021, the amount of funding provided to pillar 2 schemes from the Exchequer; the amount co-funded by scheme in 2020 to date; the allocated amounts in 2022; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61880/21]
As a result of my Department’s recent technical supplementary estimate and the ongoing management of financial resources, €669m has now been allocated to Pillar II schemes and €529m spent to date in 2021, with the remaining €140m expected to issue in December.
EAFRD funding claimed from the European Union on expenditure incurred from January 2021 to 15 October 2021, amounts to €160m (excluding Leader) with a further claim to be submitted for the last quarter, which will be reimbursed in 2022.
The definitive 2022 allocation will be set out in the 2022 Revised Estimates Volume (REV) which will be published later this year. I have asked my officials to forward the 2021 definitive figures to the Deputy when they have been finalised in 2022.
800. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the amount of funding he plans to provide to pillar 2 schemes from the Exchequer; the amount co-funded from 2023 to 2027; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61881/21]
A total of €2.3 billion in national exchequer funding will be made available for the 2023-2027 CAP Strategic Plan. When combined with Ireland’s €1.56 billion in Pillar II funding arising from last year’s agreement on the EU budget, this will bring the allocation for Rural Development measures to a total of €3.86 billion over the five year period.
In addition, residual spending of approximately €350m will occur under the existing Rural Development Programme in the period 2023-2025 including LEADER. The exact amount will depend on the expenditure of schemes in 2021 and 2022. The breakdown between national and the co-funded element will depend on the residual spending profiles as there are different EU funding rates including the European Recovery Instrument Funding is at 100% and will only become clearer as the programme progresses.
801. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the proposed cap of €66,000 on the basic income support scheme will impact on eco-scheme payments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61882/21]
The CAP Strategic Plan Regulation contains a number of particular requirements for all EU Member States in relation to the redistribution of direct payments.
In that context, I am proposing to implement capping of direct payments at €66,000 by making full use of the flexibility in the regulation where payments between €60,000 and €100,000 can be reduced by 85% giving an effective cap of €66,000. I fought very hard in Europe to ensure that we had a capping of payments that brought greater fairness to the system. This capping will only apply to the Basic Income Support for Sustainability (BISS) under the next CAP. It, therefore. has no impact on Eco-Schemes payments.
Eco-Schemes themselves are being proposed for the first time as part of the next CAP and they must be funded from within Pillar I of the CAP budget. I have decided to allocate 25% of Ireland’s Direct Payments envelope to the Eco-Scheme annually, which equates to approximately €297 million per annum.
802. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the amount paid in pillar 1 payments to date in 2021; the total amount expected to be paid; the amount allocated in 2022; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61883/21]
Total CAP Pillar 1 payments for the year 2021 to date were €1.131 billion. This includes €777.5 million under 2021 Basic Payment, €340.7 million under Greening, €10.1 million under the 2021 Young Farmers Scheme and €2.7 million under the 2021 Protein Scheme. Processing of applications is continuing and further payments are being made as more applicants reply to outstanding queries and cases are resolved.
The amount allocated to the Basic Payment ceiling in 2022 is €1.186 billion. This is the gross amount and does not take into account any Financial Discipline that may be incurred.
803. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of sheep on which payments were made under the sheep welfare scheme; the payment rate in each of the years 2016 to date, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61906/21]
The number of sheep that have received payment under the scheme for each of the scheme years since Year 1 of the scheme commenced in February 2017 is set out in the following table.
|Scheme Year||Number of eligible breeding ewes receiving payment|
The payment rate in each of the years 2016 to date was €10 per eligible breeding ewe.
804. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the indicative allocation for a sheep improvement scheme within the proposed CAP Strategic Plan intends an equal allocation of funds across all five years of the plan; the estimated number of individual breeding ewes this would support in each year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61907/21]
I am committed to the long-term viability of the sheep sector and the dedicated sheep farmers who produce a world-class product. The Sheep Improvement Scheme aims to build on the progress made by the Sheep Welfare Scheme (SWS) in the 2014-2020 RDP by providing support for actions that improve animal health and welfare in the sheep sector.
The programme budget will be allocated equally across each year of the scheme. However, it should be noted that the draft scheme is based on an annual contract which will be demand-led, as was the case with the Sheep Welfare Scheme, which means the drawdown can be variable. It is projected that the measure can support up to 1.67 million breeding ewes annually.
805. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of dairy farmers receiving less than €10,000 in pillar 1 payments for the years 2016 to date by county; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61908/21]