Tuesday, 24 February 2004
Dáil Eireann Debate
225. Ms B. Moynihan-Cronin asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food when it is proposed to issue grant aid under the native woodland scheme to a person (details supplied) in County Kerry. [5927/04]
Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mr. Walsh): An application from the person in question for grant aid under the native woodland scheme is currently being processed by my Department. A decision on the application will be given as quickly as possible.
226. Mr. Deenihan asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food when a ewe premium for 2003 will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5928/04]
Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mr. Walsh): This matter is the subject of an appeal. The agriculture appeals office received the appeal from this herd owner on 6 February 2004. Appeals receive individual examination and are dealt with in the order in which they are received. The appeals office will contact the appellant shortly to arrange the oral hearing he requested. It is not expected that there will be any undue delay in dealing with this case.
227. Mr. P. Breen asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food when a person (details supplied) in County Clare will receive a forestry payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5929/04]
228. Mr. M. Moynihan asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if he will clarify under the mid-term review proposals, if a farmer (details supplied) sold cows and milk quota this year, will the land be eligible for cattle premia next year; if this person had land leased for dry stock and milk production, can they now sell their milk quota and cows, drop rented land and claim full cattle premia on owned land; and if this person sells premia rights, can they reduce the area which they farm in order to continue drawing the remaining rights; and if so, by how much. [5930/04]
Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mr. Walsh): The single payment scheme will commence on 1 January 2005 and all livestock premia and arable aid schemes will cease to exist as and from 31 December 2004. As the Deputy is no doubt aware, the single decoupled payment will be based on the average number of animals or the average number of hectares in the case of arable aid on which payments were made under the livestock premia and arable aid schemes in respect of the three reference years 2000, 2001 and 2002. The single payment is calculated by taking the three yearly average number of animals and arable hectares which attracted payment and multiplying them by the payment rate for 2002 in respect of livestock or by €383.04 per hectare in the case of arable aid. Entitlements are calculated by dividing this single payment amount by the average number of hectares over the three-year period. Farmers for whom entitlements have been established must activate those entitlements in 2005 by continuing to farm and submitting an area aid declaration in that year. In general, farmers must also have an eligible hectare for each payment entitlement.
The coupled dairy premium will be introduced this year. It will be based on the milk quota held — owned and leased in — on 31 March 2004. The applicant must be a milk producer as the premium is linked to production. The dairy premium will be decoupled from production in 2005 and will be based on the milk quota held — owned and leased in — on 31 March 2005. Dairy premium entitlements are calculated by dividing the premium by the average number of hectares over the three-year period where a farmer has existing livestock and arable entitlements or by the eligible hectares owned in 2005 where the farmer has no existing entitlements. In cases where livestock and arable entitlements are already established and the farmers concerned qualify for the decoupled dairy premium, the value per hectare of the decoupled dairy premium is added to the value of the existing livestock entitlements without the necessity of having additional eligible hectares.
If the person named sells his cows and milk quota after 31 March 2004, he will qualify for the coupled dairy premium in 2004 if he was an active milk producer in the 2003-04 milk marketing year. He will also have livestock entitlements established for 2005 based on the average number of animals that qualified for payment under the various livestock premia schemes during the three year reference period. I assume that when the Deputy refers to selling premia rights, he means selling livestock entitlements under the new regime. Under European Council Regulation 1782/03, the person named may sell some of his entitlements without land after he has activated at least 80% of his entitlements in any one calendar year.
The position with regard to rented land is that negotiations on the detailed rules regulation governing the implementation of the single payment scheme including the issue of land availability are ongoing between the European Commission and all member states. The Commission is expecting to have agreement on the detailed rules by the end of March 2004. It is not possible therefore, to indicate at this stage what the position will be in relation to the person named.
229. Mr. Connaughton asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the reason a suckler cow premium for 2003 has not been paid to a person (details supplied) in County Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5975/04]
Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mr. Walsh): The person named applied for premium for 60 animals under the 2003 suckler cow scheme for small scale milk suppliers. He applied under his Tipperary herd number but was a milk supplier under his Galway herd number Under the terms and conditions of the scheme an applicant must have a milk quota which does not exceed 39,594 gallons on 31 March 2003 to 1 April 2003. Our records show that the person named held a milk quota of 40,471 gallons at 31 March 2003 and as a result is not entitled to payment under the 2003 suckler cow premium scheme.
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