Smith, Brendan

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 700 No. 2

First Page Previous Page Page of 218 Next Page Last Page

Priority Questions - Animal Identification Scheme.

Was asked: his views on the proposal to electronically tag sheep; and if he supports these proposals. More Button

I have on many occasions expressed concern about the mandatory introduction of electronic identification, EID, in the sheep sector. My consistent view has been that the introduction of EID of sheep s...More Button

I accept that there will be some additional cost to primary producers. One of the first meetings I had as Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food was with the EU Commissioner for Health, Androul...More Button

I am not quite sure from where the proposal initiated in 2003. I am not sure if it was proposed by an individual member state or by the Commission. I believe — I am open to correction on this and wi...More Button

Priority Questions - Common Agricultural Policy.

Was asked: his position on the proposed change to the calculation method of the single farm payment in the context of ongoing negotiations on common agricultural policy reform; and if he will make a statement o...More Button

Formal negotiations have yet to commence on the future of the CAP and in that respect there are no proposals to change the calculation method of the single farm payment. However, policy debates have ...More Button

I share Deputy Creed’s views on the issues on which he has touched. At a Council of Ministers meeting in September 2008 under the French Presidency we had our first discussion on the future of the Co...More Button

Deputy Creed is correct on the co-decision and the influence of the European Parliament. Some time ago officials at senior level within my Department met all our MEPs and gave them a full briefing on...More Button

Priority Questions - Departmental Agencies.

Was asked: if he has an influence on the direction or work programme of agrifood research in Teagasc; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Under the Agriculture (Research, Training and Advice) Act 1988, Teagasc has statutory responsibility for the provision of research, education and advisory services to the agriculture sector. In accord...More Button

I am not aware of any documentation to which Deputy Creed referred.More Button

It is important to recognise the excellent work carried out by Teagasc at all its research centres throughout the country. One such eminent centre is in the north of the Deputy’s county of Cork at Mo...More Button

There was nothing in the Deputy’s question that I could ascertain in respect of GM crops. It was a general question——More Button

No.More Button

Teagasc works to the Government programme and priorities. It does so in a very effective way and will continue to do so at all its research centres that it is developing as centres of excellence.More Button

May I say that——More Button

Deputy Creed should note that in no way am I being disingenuous. We are entitled to check if a question is suitable when it refers to the detailed work of a semi-State organisation.More Button

That is good and I appreciate it. The Deputy might also consider lauding the Government for the major investment in the past——More Button

The Deputy should also laud the Government in parallel terms for the major funding that has been put into research, development and innovation in recent years, including in our universities, institute...More Button

We are not working against innovation and research; we are supporting it very well and we work in collaboration with Teagasc to ensure the needs of Teagasc are addressed and that it works to prioritie...More Button

I did not send any such letter and I am not aware of any correspondence.More Button

I am not aware——More Button

Priority Questions - Fishing Vessel Licences.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the report of the Ombudsman entitled Lost at Sea; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: his views on the recently published Lost at Sea report of the Ombudsman; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Other Questions - Animal Identification Scheme.

Was asked: his position on the introduction of electronic tagging; the impact this will have on traceability; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The introduction of EID for sheep was agreed at EU level in late 2003. At that time, it was agreed to defer the implementation date until January 2008. The Council of Agriculture Ministers revisited...More Button

In regard to Britain, Northern Ireland has not applied for the derogations we received and it is intended to implement the mandatory scheme, as it is outlined by the European Commission. I mentioned ...More Button

——is involved in consultations with all the farm organisations and all stakeholders in regard to the practical implementation of the scheme. I have consistently outlined, at meetings of the Joint Com...More Button

There will be a requirement regarding the new numbering system. It will have a different number of characters. Some years ago the 13 digit sheep tag system was introduced. That will be incompatible...More Button

Other Questions - Grant Payments.

Was asked: if, in view of the announcement of the grant aid scheme for horticulture growers, the scheme will provide real benefits to primary producers and enhance the sector’s capacity for import substitution;...More Button

Other Questions - Pigmeat Sector.

Was asked: the number of farmers involved in pig production on a county basis; his views on whether there is an opportunity to expand this industry; if so, the way he will encourage such expansion; his further ...More Button

A total of 2,465 farmers are involved in pig production. Details of the number of farmers on a county by county basis are set out in the table. The pig sector accounts for approximately 6% of gross a...More Button

I thank Deputy Crawford for his comments on the re-opening of the Russian market. We hope that will help to improve prices and grow the market. The Russian market available to our exporters is of su...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, some considerable time ago we put forward a proposal to the European Commission in respect of country of origin labelling for pigmeat, sheepmeat and poultrymeat. Unfortun...More Button

Regarding Deputy Crawford’s point and speaking of individual producers and about the industry in general, there are now much better on-farm facilities for pig production. Some years ago the sow-housi...More Button

Other Questions - Biotechnological Inventions.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the potential of miscanthus to meet fuel needs for domestic and commercial users. More Button

Severe Weather Emergencies: Motion (Resumed).

Amendment put.
Yes IndicatorVoted Yes More Button

Written Answers - Fisheries Protection.

Was asked: when he expects the EU Norway negotiations in relation to mackerel fishing to be concluded; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Annual bi-lateral negotiations with Norway concluded late yesterday evening after a marathon session which commenced on Tuesday 19th January. Indeed this session follows three other such meetings...More Button

Written Answers - Bovine Diseases.

Was asked: the reason agricultural laboratories are not available for bovine viral diarrhoea, infectious bovine rhinotracheitis and Johne’s disease testing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) virus and Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis (IBR) virus are two viral agents that have been recognised as being endemic and causing disease in animals in Ireland for decad...More Button

Written Answers - Pension Provisions.

Was asked: the discussions he has had with the Department of Social and Family Affairs regarding a change to State pension arrangements for farmers’ spouses; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Issues relating to eligibility for pensions are a matter for the Minister for Social and Family Affairs. Following a review of certain pension claims, it was discovered that a number of individuals wh...More Button

Written Answers - Rural Environment Protection Scheme.

Was asked: when he will commence discussions on the new REP scheme to replace REP scheme four; and the details for same. More Button

Ireland’s amended Rural Development Programme, including a new agri-environment scheme, was presented to the EU Rural Development Management Committee in Brussels on 20 January. This followed detaile...More Button

Written Answers - Fisheries Protection.

Was asked: if he is satisfied with the outcome of the December 2009 EU Fisheries’ Council; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The package of fish quotas and other conservation measures for 2010 were agreed at the December 2009 Fisheries Council after a marathon 36 hours of intensive negotiations. Tony Killeen T.D., Minister...More Button

Written Answers - Organic Farming.

Was asked: if, in view of the recent re-opening of the organic farming scheme with a new requirement, farmers will be required to produce a five year business plan as part of their application; and if he will m...More Button

The submission of a detailed five year business plan by all new applicants is now required as part of the application process for the Organic Farming Scheme. The purpose of the Business Plan is to fa...More Button

Written Answers - Rural Environment Protection Scheme.

Was asked: if farmers will be in a position to apply for new REP scheme before 1 March 2010. More Button

Ireland’s amended Rural Development Programme, including a new agri-environment scheme, was presented to the EU Rural Development Management Committee in Brussels on 20 January. This followed detaile...More Button

Written Answers - Lost at Sea Scheme.

Was asked: if a person or organisation, other than him and his Department officials or persons directly involved with the drawing up of the terms and conditions of the scheme, had access to the conditions of th...More Button

The Lost at Sea Scheme was a limited scheme introduced in June 2001, with a closing date of 31 December 2001, whose objective was to enable qualifying applicants, who were otherwise unable to do so fo...More Button

Written Answers - Tillage Sector.

Was asked: his forecast for tillage farmers in 2010, in particular the grain sector in light of losses incurred over previous years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Since Ireland is a deficit market for cereals, prices here are greatly affected by world prices and supplies. In 2007, increased demands for grain from the biofuels sector and the growing needs of new...More Button

Written Answers - Food Labelling.

Was asked: if he will raise the need for more comprehensive labelling legislation at an EU level on foot of the interagency group report on the pork dioxin contamination; and if he will make a statement on the ...More Button

The report of the Inter-Agency Review Group tasked with examining the dioxin contamination incident in Ireland in December 2008 made a number of recommendations in relation to labelling and traceabili...More Button

Written Answers - Grant Payments.

Was asked: the number of REP scheme four farmers who have been paid since he promised payments would commence from mid December 2009. More Button

The first payments for the 2009 scheme year issued on 18 December 2009, and payments have continued to issue in the meantime. To date, 9,823 REPS 4 participants have been paid in full. A further 4,50...More Button

Written Answers - Crop Losses.

Was asked: if he has been involved in the compilation of an application to the EU Solidarity Fund for compensation for farmers and growers who have suffered losses due to recent extreme weather conditions; and ...More Button

Mindful of the hardship and distress caused by the recent widespread flooding, on 27 November 2009 I announced the introduction of the Fodder Aid Scheme, targeted directly at those farmers who encount...More Button

Written Answers - Fisheries Protection.

Was asked: the number of factory ships of international origin that have been brought to shore since the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority came into existence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if he will report on the introduction of the practice of weighing lorries carrying fish on Killybegs Pier, County Donegal in addition to weighing lorries at the local factory; the reason this practic...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 109 and 136 together. These are matters for the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA), an independent authority, which was established under the Sea Fisheries and ...More Button

Written Answers - Bee Population.

Was asked: if there is a national strategy for the future of the bee population here. More Button

The Department is aware of the importance of maintaining a healthy bee population due to the role of bees in producing honey, aiding pollination and promoting and maintaining Irish Biodiversity. The D...More Button

Written Answers - Afforestation Programme.

Was asked: the percentage of the country covered by forestry; the targets for further forestry development; and the incentives available for same. More Button

The percentage of land area currently under forestry is approximately 10.7%. My Department promotes the planting of new forests through a range of attractive support measures — the Afforestation Grant...More Button

Written Answers - European Council Meetings.

Was asked: the outcome of the January 2010 Council of Agriculture Ministers meeting regarding the functioning of the European food supply chain; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Ministers had a first discussion of a communication from the Commission that had been presented by Commissioner Fischer Boel at the December Agriculture Council meeting. That communication outlined a...More Button

Written Answers - Beef Industry.

Was asked: if he will report on the operation of the new quality payment system at meat factories; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

As the Deputy is aware, the price paid for beef is a matter for the meat industry and the farmers who supply cattle. Beef carcasses are classified or graded in accordance with EU Regulations using the...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Funding.

Was asked: the reason unspent common agricultural policy funds being distributed to discussion groups is singularly aimed at the dairy sector; if he will distribute available funding to discussion groups in oth...More Button

Was asked: the reason applications for support from unspent single farm payments funds are confined to the dairy sector. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 114 and 162 together. Under the agreement reached in November 2008 on the Health Check of the CAP, I secured approval to use previously inaccessible unspent Single Pay...More Button

Written Answers - Food Industry.

Was asked: if, in view of Bord Bia’s export performance and prospects report, he is satisfied that the value of Irish food and drink exports will stabilise and improve in the future. More Button

Irish food and drink exporters faced unprecedented challenges in 2009 due to a sustained decline in the value of sterling, the economic downturn and a sharp slowdown in global demand for major commodi...More Button

Written Answers - Proposed Legislation.

Was asked: the input his Department has had in the drafting of the proposed climate change Bill; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Ireland is fully committed to playing its part in the efforts to tackle climate change. The EU climate change and renewable energy package aims to deliver the European Union’s ambitious commitments to...More Button

Written Answers - Fur Farming.

Was asked: if he anticipates compensation for fur farmers will be required if the programme for Government commitment to proceed with a gradual phasing out of fur farming is approved by the Houses of the Oireac...More Button

My officials are examining the legislative and other changes deemed necessary to implement the commitment in the revised Programme for Government to phase out fur farming over three years. As many iss...More Button

Written Answers - Rural Environment Protection Scheme.

Was asked: if he has spent his full allocation of REP scheme funding of €369 million in 2009. More Button

The original 2009 Vote allocation of €330 million which was provided for expenditure on REPS was increased to €369 million by way of Supplementary estimate on 8 December. The additional funding was so...More Button

Written Answers - Animal Identification Scheme.

Was asked: the steps he is taking to reverse the plans for the electronic tagging of sheep; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The introduction of EID for sheep was agreed at EU level in late 2003. At that time, it was agreed to defer the implementation date until January 2008. The Council of Agriculture Ministers revisited t...More Button

Written Answers - Fishing Industry Development.

Was asked: the number of fishing boats registered; the estimated number employed on same; and the estimated number of onshore jobs in fish processing and related activities. More Button

The Registrar General of Fishing Boats is charged with maintaining the Register of Fishing Boats and publishes a Register report of Irish vessels on the Department’s website under Sea Fisheries/Irish ...More Button

Written Answers - Common Agricultural Policy.

Was asked: his views on the possibility of retaining the single farm payment in the Common Agriculture Policy negotiations. More Button

Was asked: his views on recent comments about the possibility of the introduction of a flat-rate single farm payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: his views regarding the future of the single farm payment after 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if he will defend the current single farm payment in ongoing Common Agricultural Policy negotiations. More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the statements by the EU Commissioner designate regarding the new criteria for the distribution of direct aid to farmers and his ruling out basing single farm payme...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 121, 129, 130, 166 and 179 together. Although formal negotiations have yet to commence on the future of the CAP, there is no doubt in my mind that the CAP of the futur...More Button

Written Answers - Animal Welfare.

Was asked: the action taken by his Department to ensure a co-ordinated approach to animal health and welfare legislation between here and in Northern Ireland during the preparation of the proposed animal health...More Button

Mindful of the commitments to the development of an All-Island Animal Health and Welfare Strategy agreed under North South Ministerial Council arrangements, officials from both administrations are in ...More Button

Written Answers - Food Industry.

Was asked: the consultations he has had with the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment regarding the proposed introduction of a statutory code for the retail sector; and if he will make a statement on ...More Button

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment consulted closely with my Department in preparing the consultation paper for the public consultation process that has now taken place. The next step...More Button

Written Answers - Animal Diseases.

Was asked: the incidence of Johne’s disease as notified to his Department in 2009 and to date in 2010; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Notification to my Department of a case of Johne’s disease only takes place on the basis of a positive faecal culture. As this takes 42 days to grow there have been no instances identified as yet for ...More Button

Written Answers - Food Safety Standards.

Was asked: the action he will take on foot of the report by the interagency group established to consider the pork dioxin contamination issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I established the inter-agency review of the dioxin contamination incident for the purpose inter alia of identifying any adjustments to official controls in the light of experiences gained from the in...More Button

Written Answers - Fisheries Protection.

Was asked: if he will consider including dogfish in allowable by-catch for gill netting fishermen; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The proposed Council Regulation fixing for 2010 the fishing opportunities for certain fish stocks and groups of fish stocks, applicable in Community waters and, for Community vessels, in waters where ...More Button

Written Answers - Live Exports.

Was asked: the steps he is taking to develop the live cattle trade to Britain; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The live export trade is an important component of our meat and livestock industry and provides a complement to the beef trade. Overall live exports in 2009 increased by 94% on 2008 levels. In the sam...More Button

Written Answers - Land Values.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that agricultural land values in Leinster and Connaught have fallen by more than 50 percent; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

A recent report by Independent global property consultants Knight Frank Ireland shows that farmland prices declined significantly countrywide, but the most significant decline was in the Dublin/Kildar...More Button

Written Answers - Grocery Industry.

Was asked: his views on a code of practice in the grocery sector here which will ensure that food producers here are paid an appropriate price for their produce; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

As signalled by the Tánaiste, the intention is to implement a national Code of Practice for doing business in the Grocery Goods sector with a view to ensuring a fair trading relationship between retai...More Button

Written Answers - Fishing Quota.

Was asked: when the final decision will be reached on mackerel quotas for 2010; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the position regarding the EU Norway negotiations in relation to mackerel fishing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 132 and 135 together. A final decision on the mackerel quotas was predicated on the outcome of the EU Norway negotiations which concluded with an agreement yesterday e...More Button

Written Answers - Crop Losses.

Was asked: the assistance he will provide for potato growers adversely affected by recent weather conditions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am aware that due to very wet conditions in November 2009 a proportion of the total national area of potatoes remained unharvested at the end of the year. Since Christmas Ireland has experienced ve...More Button

Written Answers - Beef Industry.

Was asked: if he will introduce initiatives aimed at encouraging bull beef production; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

My Department has no plans to introduce specific initiatives to encourage bull beef production over other systems of beef production. It is a matter for the processing industry, in responding to marke...More Button

Written Answers - Crop Losses.

Was asked: the extent of the damage caused to potato crops as a result of the recent very cold weather; the impact of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am aware that due to very wet conditions in November 2009 a proportion of the total national area of potatoes remained unharvested at the end of the year. Since Christmas Ireland has experienced ve...More Button

Written Answers - Rural Development.

Was asked: the maximum number of participants that will be allowed to join the new agri-environment scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The amended Rural Development Programme which included proposals for the new agri-environment scheme, was agreed by the EU’s Rural Development Management Committee on 20 January and I hope to secure f...More Button

Written Answers - Provision of Allotments.

Was asked: if he will introduce a national policy on the promotion of allotments; if funding is available for the promotion of allotments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Acquisition of Land (Allotments) Act 1926 enables local authorities to let allotments in urban areas to an individual for the specific purpose of cultivating vegetables mainly for consumption by t...More Button

Written Answers - Fishing Industry.

Was asked: his views on the introduction of an ombudsman for fisheries; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Ombudsman’s staff examine complaints concerning the administrative actions of all Government Departments including my own. Consequently, I do not see the necessity for a distinct Ombudsman for fi...More Button

Written Answers - Grant Payments.

Was asked: the number of REP scheme four applicants that have to be paid on a county basis; if his attention has been drawn to the importance of these payments in view of the difficulties being experienced by s...More Button

The first payments for the 2009 scheme year issued on 18 December 2009, and payments have continued to issue in the meantime. To date, 9,823 REPS 4 participants have been paid in full. A further 4,5...More Button

Written Answers - Common Agricultural Policy.

Was asked: his position, as conveyed to his EU colleagues, in the context of the common agricultural policy review and world trade talks; his position in such discussions; the countries within the European Unio...More Button

My overarching view is that future EU agricultural policy must adhere closely to the original objectives of the Common Agricultural Policy as set out in the Treaty of Rome and reiterated in the Lisbon...More Button

Written Answers - Dairy Sector.

Was asked: when he will pay out Ireland’s proportion of the €300 million EU dairy fund; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The EU dairy fund was part of a package of measures agreed at the Council of Agriculture and Fisheries Ministers last October. The Commission made available a fund of €300 million to support dairy fa...More Button

Written Answers - Food Security.

Was asked: if, in view of his recent statement to the world food summit that one person in every six is now food insecure and that the current situation means the achievement of the millennium development goals...More Button

Currently 1 billion people in the world are food insecure. This is an ongoing tragedy, which was made worse by global food price rises in 2008. People need safe, nutritious, affordable food. Across...More Button

Written Answers - Sheep Sector.

Was asked: the value of the new grassland sheep scheme over the period 2010-2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: when he will announce the final details of the new grassland sheep scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 145 and 168 together. I am mindful of the particular difficulties being experienced by the Irish sheep sector and I decided late last year on a two-fold approach to ad...More Button

Written Answers - Road Repairs.

Was asked: his views on the instigation of a grant system to encourage landowners to drain water from public roads. More Button

Repair works to drain water from public roads are the responsibility of the Local Authorities, who are under the remit of my colleague the Minister for Environment, Heritage and Local Government.More Button

Written Answers - AgriFood Industry.

Was asked: when will his Department’s 2020 strategy be finalised; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the progress that has been made in the development of his 2020 strategy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 147 and 187 together. For some months now, my Department has been working on the development of a new strategy for the period up to 2020 to ensure that the full potent...More Button

Written Answers - Farm Waste Management.

Was asked: the proportion of the total funding in respect of the farm waste management scheme that has been paid to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the amount of the second phase of the farm waste management scheme grants that have been paid; when the final phase will be paid; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos.148 and 161 together. The first and second instalments of 40% under the farm waste management scheme have been paid or authorised for payment to all farmers who have be...More Button

Written Answers - Common Fisheries Policy.

Was asked: if he has approved Ireland’s submission to the EU Commission, regarding the reform of the common fisheries policy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: when Ireland’s submission, regarding the reform of the common fisheries policy, will be submitted to the EU Commission; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 149 and 171 together. The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is the fisheries policy of the European Union which was first put in place in 1983 and has been subject to revi...More Button

Written Answers - Dairy Sector.

Was asked: his views on the high level group on dairying; and his further views on whether a voluntary contract will stabilise milk prices. More Button

Was asked: the progress made by the high level group of representatives of EU member states, established to review the dairy sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 150 and 169 together. The EU Commission set up the high level expert group on milk last October, following a special Council of Ministers meeting where we had a thorou...More Button

Written Answers - Grant Payments.

Was asked: when all REP scheme four payments will be awarded; and if his attention has been drawn to the hardship endured by delays in payments. More Button

REPS 4 is a measure under the current Rural Development Programme 2007–13 and is subject to EU Regulations which require detailed administrative checks on all applications to be completed before the f...More Button

Written Answers - Common Agricultural Policy.

Was asked: his views on the way in which greater simplification can be brought to the common agricultural policy in the context of the post-2013 negotiations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I want to see simplification of measures and systems as a key plank in the CAP after 2013. I must be absolutely clear that this is about increased efficiency and does not involve any weakening of fin...More Button

Written Answers - Grant Payments.

Was asked: the number of farmers paid for REPS 4 on a county basis. More Button

The first payments for the 2009 scheme year issued on 18 December 2009, and payments have continued to issue in the meantime. To date, 9,823 REPS 4 participants have been paid in full. A further 4,5...More Button

Was asked: if farmers will be eligible to apply for the EU Solidarity Fund; and if so, the number of applications received from farmers to date in 2010. More Button

Mindful of the hardship and distress caused by the recent widespread flooding, on 27 November 2009 I announced the introduction of the Fodder Aid Scheme, targeted directly at those farmers who encount...More Button

Was asked: if he will extend the fodder aid scheme to losses associated with the recent very cold weather. More Button

Mindful of the hardship and distress caused by the recent widespread flooding, on 27 November 2009 I announced the introduction of the fodder aid scheme, targeted directly at those farmers who encount...More Button

Written Answers - Agrifood Sector.

Was asked: the impact he envisages that the new EU Commissioner Designate for Agriculture will have on the 5% land area target for organic agriculture by 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The 5% land area target is a national objective as part of the Programme for Government. I have taken various initiatives, and there are a number of measures in place, with a view to achieving this o...More Button

Written Answers - Rural Development.

Was asked: when he will announce details of a new agri-environment scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Ireland’s amended rural development programme, including a new agri-environment scheme, was presented to the EU Rural Development Management Committee in Brussels on 20 January. This followed detaile...More Button

Written Answers - Grant Payments.

Was asked: the amount paid to farmers under the fodder aid scheme announced in November 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Mindful of the hardship and distress caused by the recent widespread flooding, on 27 November 2009 I announced the introduction of the fodder aid scheme, targeted directly at those farmers who encount...More Button

Was asked: the average grant available per acre for miscanthus growers. More Button

My Department introduced a pilot bioenergy scheme in 2007 to grant aid the cultivation of miscanthus and willow crops to produce feedstock for use in the bioenergy market. The maximum grant available...More Button

Written Answers - Dairy Sector.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the outlook for the price of milk in 2010; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The international dairy industry continues to face serious challenges at present. Over the past couple of years we have witnessed extremes of volatility in dairy product prices on an unprecedented sc...More Button

Written Answers - Organic Farming.

Was asked: his plans for farmers here in view of the continued growth in domestic demand for organic products and the scale of the €2.1 billion UK and €4.6 billion German markets; and if he will make a statemen...More Button

The renewed programme for Government includes a commitment to meeting the growing demand for domestically produced organic produce by providing adequate resources and supports for the achievement of t...More Button

Written Answers - Rural Development.

Was asked: when the investment schemes for conversion of poultry house, pig welfare, dairy hygiene and sheep fencing will be introduced. More Button

The revised rural development programme setting out, inter alia, the details of the schemes referred to by the Deputy was approved by the EU Rural Development Management Committee at its meeting on 20...More Button

Written Answers - Grocery Industry.

Was asked: if, in view of the commitment in the revised programme for Government to implement a code of practice to develop a fair trading relationship between retailers and their suppliers, it will be a mandat...More Button

As signalled by the Tánaiste, the intention is to implement a national code of practice for doing business in the grocery goods sector with a view to ensuring a fair trading relationship between retai...More Button

Written Answers - Horticulture Sector.

Was asked: the extent of the damage caused to vegetable crops as a result of the recent cold weather; the impact of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Since Christmas Ireland has experienced very severe frost conditions which have resulted in losses to vegetable crops. The extent of losses is difficult to quantify at this stage. It would be influe...More Button

Written Answers - Dairy Sector.

Was asked: when he will announce details of the €45 million investment support scheme aimed at helping young dairy farmers to adjust to expanding dairy opportunities and make their commercial operations more co...More Button

Ireland’s revised Rural Development Programme provides a number of new on farm investment schemes, including a new €45 million investment support scheme for young dairy farmers. These will be co-fund...More Button

Written Answers - Cattle Prices.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that cattle prices here are projected to fall this year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

As the Deputy is aware, cattle prices are a matter for the processing industry and the farmers who supply it. Cattle prices are influenced by a variety of factors and it is impossible to definitively ...More Button

Written Answers - Rural Development.

Was asked: the maximum payment per participant under the new agri-environment scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The amended Rural Development Programme which included proposals for the new agri-environment scheme, was agreed by the EU’s Rural Development Management Committee on 20 January and I hope to secure f...More Button

Written Answers - Grant Payments.

Was asked: if he is satisfied that adequate funding has been made available to those farmers who were badly affected by the recent adverse weather conditions. More Button

Mindful of the hardship and distress caused by the recent widespread flooding, on 27 November 2009 I announced the introduction of the Fodder Aid Scheme, targeted directly at those farmers who encount...More Button

Written Answers - Crop Losses.

Was asked: if supports will be put in place for potato farmers following the poor yield brought about by the recent bad weather. More Button

I am aware that due to very wet conditions in November 2009 a proportion of the total national area of potatoes remained unharvested at the end of the year. Since Christmas Ireland has experienced ver...More Button

Written Answers - Sheep Losses.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the heavy sheep losses in mountainous regions as a result of the cold weather; and if he will provide assistance. More Button

I am aware that there have been some sheep lost due to the recent adverse weather conditions. This has also been brought to my attention by farmer representatives. However I have not been informed of ...More Button

Written Answers - Rural Environment Protection Scheme.

Was asked: the amount of funding he will provide for the new REP scheme in 2010. More Button

The proposed new agri-environmental scheme, which is part of the amended Rural Development Programme was agreed by the EU Rural Development Management Committee in Brussels on 20 January. The Commissi...More Button

Written Answers - Farm Assist Scheme.

Was asked: if he has a co-ordinating role with Department of Social and Family Affairs regarding farm assist. More Button

The Farm Assist is directly a matter for the Minister for Social and Family Affairs. However, my Department keeps in regular contact with the Department of Social and Family Affairs regarding developm...More Button

Written Answers - Rural Development.

Was asked: the amount of funding that will be available in 2010 for those participating in the new agri-environment scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The proposed new agri-environmental scheme, which is part of the amended Rural Development Programme was agreed by the EU Rural Development Management Committee in Brussels on 20 January. The Commiss...More Button

Written Answers - Common Fisheries Policy.

Was asked: the timeframe for the completion of the common fisheries policy review; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is the fisheries policy of the European Union which was first put in place in 1983 and has been subject to reviews every 10 years, the most recent was in 2002 and the...More Button

Written Answers - Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

Was asked: if the agencies under his remit are working on scientific solutions to reducing methane emissions within the agricultural sector. More Button

My Department continues to examine and advance understanding of various scientific solutions and abatement options in close liaison with Teagasc. There has been significant commitment of €15.5 million...More Button

Written Answers - Equine Registration.

Was asked: his views on submissions from a society (details supplied) in relation to the ownership of the stud book. More Button

My Department is not in a position to comment on the submissions received to date from the Society in question. Additional information requested from the Society, which was only received yesterday, ha...More Button

Written Answers - Milk Quota.

Was asked: the number of new entrants into the dairy sector for the years 2008 to date in 2010. More Button

There are two schemes operating in my Department through which new entrants to dairying might acquire a milk quota. These are the Milk Quota Trading Scheme and the Scheme for the Allocation of Milk Q...More Button

Written Answers - Social Welfare Benefits.

Was asked: if he has a co-ordinating role with the Department of Social and Family Affairs regarding family income supplement. More Button

The Family Income Supplement is directly a matter for the Minister for Social and Family Affairs.More Button

Written Answers - Common Agricultural Policy.

Was asked: the discussions that have taken place at EU level on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy after 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

A first policy debate on CAP after 2013 took place at the Informal Agriculture Council in September 2008 under the French Presidency. The Czech Presidency continued the debate in the first months of ...More Button

Written Answers - Fisheries Protection.

Was asked: the position regarding the restrictions on whitefish fishing off County Donegal, introduced at the December 2008 fisheries council meeting; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

A variety of new rules restricting fishing vessels’ days at sea in the Irish Sea and the waters to the northwest of Ireland and Scotland were introduced as part of the EU’s revised Cod Recovery Plan i...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Expenditure.

Was asked: if it is proposed to increase funding to Animal Health Ireland for its multi-annual programme. More Button

Animal Health Ireland (AHI) is a private company limited by guarantee and is not a public body under my control. My Department is committed to providing funding up to a maximum value of €0.5m per annu...More Button

Written Answers - Animal Feedstuffs.

Was asked: his views on the inter-agency review group report on the dioxin contamination incident here in December 2006; and if he is satisfied with the role of his Department during this crisis. More Button

I established the inter-agency review of the dioxin contamination incident for the purpose inter alia of identifying any adjustments to official controls in the light of experiences gained from the in...More Button

Written Answers - Food Labelling.

Was asked: the extent to which he directly or in conjunction with his EU colleagues will ensure rigorous enforcement of food traceability and quality standards throughout the European Union with particular refe...More Button

In general, responsibility for enforcement of labelling legislation rests with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) through its service contracts with my Department, the Sea Fisheries Protectio...More Button

Written Answers - EU Funding.

Was asked: if he has been involved in the compilation of an application to the EU Solidarity Fund in respect of compensation for farmers and growers who have suffered losses due to recent weather conditions; an...More Button

Mindful of the hardship and distress caused by the recent widespread flooding, on 27 November 2009 I announced the introduction of the Fodder Aid Scheme, targeted directly at those farmers who encount...More Button

Written Answers - Poultry Industry.

Was asked: when he will publish the results of the poultry meat analyses carried out in November 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I assume that the Deputy is referring to analyses conducted during 2009 in relation to the gas flushing of imported poultry meat. Following receipt of the final elements of the results of these tests ...More Button

Written Answers - Grant Payments.

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will receive their payment under REPS 4; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

REPS 4 is a measure under the current Rural Development Programme 2007–13 and is subject to EU Regulations which require detailed administrative checks on all applications to be completed before the f...More Button

Written Answers - Direct Payment Schemes.

Was asked: if he will make a statement on the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry. More Button

An application under the 2008 Single Payment Scheme was received from the person named on 10 May 2008. The application was randomly selected for field inspection, at which it was found that the land d...More Button

Written Answers - Proposed Legislation.

Was asked: if he will oppose the introduction of climate change legislation here which would increase costs to farmers and restrict opportunities for farm expansion; and if he will make a statement on the matte...More Button

To assist the Government in identifying the most appropriate means of achieving Ireland’s greenhouse gas emission target, the Cabinet Committee on Climate Change and Energy Security is examining the e...More Button

Written Answers - Road Network.

Was asked: if he will seek the repair of rural roads which have become impassable and have prevented farm families from tending to livestock and accessing services; and if he will make a statement on the matter...More Button

Repair works to rural roads are the responsibility of the Local Authorities, who are under the remit of my colleague the Minister for Environment, Heritage and Local Government.More Button

Written Answers - Rural Environment Protection Scheme.

Was asked: if he will expedite a REPS 4 application in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

REPS 4 is a measure under the current Rural Development Programme 2007–13 and is subject to EU Regulations which require detailed administrative checks on all applications to be completed before the f...More Button

Was asked: his proposals for a new REP scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Ireland’s amended Rural Development Programme, including a new agri-environment scheme, was presented to the EU Rural Development Management Committee in Brussels on 20 January. This followed detailed...More Button

Written Answers - Grant Payments.

Was asked: when a payment under REPS 4 will be awarded in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Sligo; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

REPS 4 is a measure under the current Rural Development Programme 2007–13 and is subject to EU Regulations which require detailed administrative checks on all applications to be completed before the f...More Button

Written Answers - Direct Payment Schemes.

Was asked: when an application will be reviewed in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Clare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The closing date for receipt of applications under the 2009 Single Payment Scheme was 15 May 2009. When the person named contacted my Department, he was informed that my Department had no record of re...More Button

Written Answers - Rural Environment Protection Scheme.

Was asked: when guidelines will issue on the way applications to REP scheme plans that cannot be progressed due to the biodiversity check coming under query, may be progressed; and if he will make a statement o...More Button

REPS 4 is a measure under the current Rural Development Programme 2007–13 and is subject to EU Regulations which require detailed administrative checks on all applications to be completed before the f...More Button

Written Answers - Grant Payments.

Was asked: further to Question No. 391 of 8 December 2009, when an application will be finalised in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Clare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

All applications received up to the closing date for the scheme of 30 October 2009, including the application from the person named, are being examined in my Department at present. I intend to make a...More Button

Was asked: when an installation grant payment will be issued to a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Only fully completed applications made under the young farmers’ installation scheme and received by my Department up to and including 14 October 2008 are being processed.More Button

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Cork will receive payment in respect of their REP scheme 4 application; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

REPS 4 is a measure under the current Rural Development Programme 2007–13 and is subject to EU regulations which require detailed administrative checks on all applications to be completed before the f...More Button

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Cork will receive payment in respect of their REP scheme four application; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

REPS 4 is a measure under the current Rural Development Programme 2007–13 and is subject to EU regulations which require detailed administrative checks on all applications to be completed before the f...More Button

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Cork will be awarded their 2008 REP scheme payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

REPS 4 is a measure under the current Rural Development Programme 2007–13 and is subject to EU regulations which require detailed administrative checks on all applications to be completed before the f...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding the case of a person (details supplied) in County Wicklow; if same will be awarded; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Payment will issue to the person named within the next 15 days.More Button

Written Answers - Agricultural Exports.

Was asked: the amount in value and volume of beef, lamb, pigmeat and dairy produce exported in each of the past five years to date in 2010; the markets that have grown in this period; the markets that have show...More Button

Beef exports and outlook The market performance of meat and dairy products is a function of supply and demand, and has of course been affected by the global economic downturn, exchange rates and other...More Button

Written Answers - Food Industry.

Was asked: the extent of new markets established for Irish beef, lamb, pigmeat and dairy products in 2009; the markets lost, if any, in the same period; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Irish beef exports in recent years have been targeted at the high value UK and Continental EU markets, with these markets accounting for over 99% of exports in 2008 and 2009. Exports of Irish beef ar...More Button

Written Answers - Sugar Beet Industry.

Was asked: the degree to which all those previously involved in sugar beet growing for sugar production purposes have been compensated following the closure of sugar production here; and if he will make a state...More Button

The total package negotiated in the context of the 2006 reform of the EU sugar regime, as modified in 2007, was worth about €353m to Ireland. All elements of the package have now been implemented. Th...More Button

Written Answers - Food Industry.

Was asked: his plans for the development and expansion of the fruit and vegetable industry here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

My Department has contributed significantly to the support of the horticulture industry through its grant aid scheme of Investment Aid for the Development of the Commercial Horticulture Sector under t...More Button

Written Answers - Deer Farming.

Was asked: the extent of deer farming here in comparison with other EU member states; the way the price paid to the producer compares with those charged to the consumer throughout the EU; and if he will make a ...More Button

The number of deer slaughtered at plants approved by the Department during the period 2002 to 2009 is as set out in the following table. It should be noted that there is also a cross-border trade in ...More Button

Written Answers - Sugar Beet Industry.

Was asked: the extent to which sugar beet production continues in each of the EU member states including Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The 2006-2009 scheme for the restructuring of the European sugar industry, which was implemented as part of the reform of the EU sugar regime, resulted in the EU sugar quota being reduced by 5.2 milli...More Button

Written Answers - Food Prices.

Was asked: the extent to which the prices paid to the producer and charged to the consumer here compare with the prices for milk and dairy products paid to producers and charged to consumers throughout each of ...More Button

Dairy farmers' incomes are comprised of the market price paid for milk and direct income support from the EU. Market forces have a major influence on the price paid to farmers for milk. World market...More Button

Was asked: the way in which the prices paid to the producer here for beef, lamb, pig meat and poultry, compare with those in each of the other EU member states; the way the prices charged to the consumer here f...More Button

The price paid to meat producers is a function of supply and demand, which has of course been influenced by the global economic downturn, exchange rates and other factors. My Department does not comp...More Button

Written Answers - Laboratory Testing.

Was asked: the extent to which the full scale of intended or expected laboratory facilities at Backweston, Celbridge, County Kildare has been achieved to date; if this now means that all laboratory testing prev...More Button

The vast majority of the buildings of my Department’s Laboratories, at Backweston are completely operational and functioning as intended. Amelioration works on some areas of the laboratories are requ...More Button

Written Answers - Food Labelling.

Was asked: if he is satisfied that the enforcement of food labelling is sufficiently stringent to protect the integrity of the food production sector here and throughout the European Union; and if he will make ...More Button

The Minister for Health & Children has overall responsibility for the general food labelling legislation. Responsibility for the enforcement of this legislation rests with the Food Safety Authority of...More Button

Written Answers - Food Safety Standards.

Was asked: the extent to which food imports here or to other EU member states are subjected to regular or spot checking to ensure compliance with national or EU standards; the number of breaches of such regulat...More Button

My Department in co-operation with Customs service monitors and operates animal and public health controls at EU approved Border Inspection Posts (BIP) on all direct imports into Ireland of products o...More Button

Written Answers - Alternative Energy Projects.

Was asked: the areas of land under the various forms of bio-fuel production; the extent to which trends are monitored on an ongoing basis with particular reference to the need for viability; and if he will make...More Button

Less than 0.2% of the agricultural land in Ireland is under non-food crops made up of oilseeds, miscanthus, willow and small quantities of wheat and oats used for energy purposes. A table details the ...More Button

Written Answers - Farm Waste Management.

Was asked: the range of incentives available to the agri-sector for pollution control here; the way this compares with the best and worst in other EU member states; and if he will make a statement on the matter...More Button

Grant-aid was provided by my Department in regard to various investments in relation to agricultural pollution control by the Farm Waste Management Scheme which, under the revised version of the Schem...More Button

Written Answers - Food Security.

Was asked: the extent to which he has, at EU level, established the principle of self-sufficiency or food security within the EU; the degree to which this concept has been established and accepted throughout th...More Button

“Food Security” is a concept that traditionally refers to the lack of access to food in developing countries due to poverty. People in poverty in developing countries are unable to buy or grow suffic...More Button

Written Answers - Farm Household Incomes.

Was asked: the steps he has taken or proposes to take to ensure that incomes to the farming sector are stabilised having regard to the need to withstand the pressure from the large supermarket chains from forci...More Button

All foodstuffs imported into Ireland are highly regulated and must meet minimum standards established in accordance with EU food safety and traceability regulations. The increasing concentration of re...More Button

Written Answers - Alternative Farm Enterprises.

Was asked: the degree to which he has attempted directly or in conjunction with his EU colleagues to utilise set aside lands for alternative production purposes; the degree to which this has been successful her...More Button

Part of the outcome of the CAP Health Check negotiations was the decision to abolish the compulsory set aside of tillage land, effective from the 2009 Scheme, thereby doing away with the complex manag...More Button

Written Answers - Food Industry.

Was asked: when the €9.5 million allocated in budget 2010 to support the food industry to enhance the competitiveness of the industry will be made available; the way in which this money will be spent; his plans...More Button

The €9.5 million provided in the 2010 Budget will be provided in the 2010 Revised Estimates and comprises €7 million to support a range of measures geared to improving the competitiveness of the food ...More Button


Last Updated: 31/03/2011 17:42:42 First Page Previous Page Page of 218 Next Page Last Page