Thursday, 16 December 2021
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
618. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the Beef Data and Genomics Programme has been extended for another year going into 2022; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [62484/21]
At the outset, I want to reassure the Deputy of my long-term commitment to the beef and suckler sectors. The Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) provides for six years of payments to participating farmers for completion of actions which deliver accelerated genetic improvement in the Irish national herd and improvement of its environmental sustainability.
In October 2021, I announced a further one year extension of contracts of BDGP participants in the 2021 transitional programme. This extension for 2022 allows those BDGP participants who were in the 2021 BDGP transitional scheme to have another year in the scheme with the majority of obligations remaining unchanged.
Since the application period to extend contracts opened to participants and agricultural advisors on the 18th November 2021, just over 15,000 of the 17,704 eligible participants have already replied with the majority opting to extend for a further one year. The closing date for receipt of valid applications is 5.00pm on Monday 20th December 2021.
Subject to the approval of the European Commission, it is proposed under an On-Farm Capital investment scheme under the CAP Strategic Plan (CSP) that a general grant rate of 40% will be available for eligible investments. It is also proposed in the CSP that eligible female farmers, who meet the eligibility criteria may qualify for grant aid at a rate of 60%.
The proposed eligible female farmers are those:
- Aged between 18 years of age and 55 at any time during the calendar year in which she submits an application for support.
- Meet the conditions for being head and having control of the holding;
- Meets the requirements for the appropriate training and/or skills required at the time of application.
Applicants who do not meet the criteria above will still remain eligible to submit an application under the On-Farm Capital investment scheme at the standard rate of 40%. No decision has been made on the details of how registered farm partnerships will operate under the new On-Farm Capital Investment scheme.
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.