173. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the reason for the delay in processing an application for the AEOS 2 plan by a person (details supplied) in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44301/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Agri-Environment Options Scheme Applications)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): The person named joined AEOS2 with  a start date of 1 September 2011. The contract was due to run up to 31 December 2016.
An inspection was carried out on 11 May 2012. An issue arose in relation to water courses on the farm. The inspectors decision was to disallow the Alternative Water Source for Bovine action as no water courses, as defined in the AEOS specification, were found on the farm.
This finding was appealed to the Re...

174. Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of single farm payments following inspection for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44359/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Agriculture Scheme Payments)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): The person named submitted a 2017 Basic Payment/Areas of Natural Constraint Schemes application on 15 April 2017. EU Regulations governing the administration of these schemes require that full and comprehensive administrative checks, including in some cases remote sensing (i.e. satellite) inspections, be completed before any payments issue. 
The application of the person named was selected for a Remote Sensing eligibility insp...

175. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will address a matter (details supplied) in view of the fact that a decision is required; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44412/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Departmental Correspondence)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Teagasc is a non commercial State body, established in 1988, under the Agriculture (Research, Training and Advice) Act, chiefly to provide advisory, research and training services to the farming and agri-food sector. 
As the matter raised is an operational matter for Teagasc, I have arranged to forward the relevant information to the Director of Teagasc for his attention and direct reply to the Deputy as soon as possible.
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176. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when the €300 million Brexit loan scheme fund announced in budget 2018 which has 40% ring fenced for food businesses will open for applications; the length of time the fund will remain open for applications; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44447/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Brexit Expenditure)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): I propose to take Questions Nos. 176 to 179, inclusive, together.
I was delighted to announce in the Budget that, in partnership with my colleague, An Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Frances Fitzgerald TD, we had agreed to establish a new “Brexit Loan Scheme” which will provide affordable, flexible financing to Irish businesses that are either currently impacted by Brexit or who will be in the fut...

177. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the criteria necessary for persons to apply for loans under the €300 million Brexit loan scheme fund announced in budget 2018 which has 40% ring fenced for food businesses; the minimum and maximum amounts which will be permitted to be loaned; the collateral requirements which will be required; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44448/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Brexit Expenditure)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): I propose to take Questions Nos. 176 to 179, inclusive, together.
I was delighted to announce in the Budget that, in partnership with my colleague, An Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Frances Fitzgerald TD, we had agreed to establish a new “Brexit Loan Scheme” which will provide affordable, flexible financing to Irish businesses that are either currently impacted by Brexit or who will be in the fut...

178. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if farmers will be permitted to apply to the €300 million Brexit loan scheme fund announced in budget 2018; if funds will be loaned to farmers for the purchase of livestock; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44449/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Brexit Expenditure)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): I propose to take Questions Nos. 176 to 179, inclusive, together.
I was delighted to announce in the Budget that, in partnership with my colleague, An Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Frances Fitzgerald TD, we had agreed to establish a new “Brexit Loan Scheme” which will provide affordable, flexible financing to Irish businesses that are either currently impacted by Brexit or who will be in the fut...

179. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when the €25 million allocated in budget 2018 for the development of further Brexit response loan schemes for farmers, fishermen and food businesses in 2018 will open for applications; the length of time the fund will remain open for applications; the minimum and maximum amounts permitted to be loaned; the collateral requirements which will be required; if funds will be loaned to farmers for the purchase of livestock; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44450/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Brexit Expenditure)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): I propose to take Questions Nos. 176 to 179, inclusive, together.
I was delighted to announce in the Budget that, in partnership with my colleague, An Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Frances Fitzgerald TD, we had agreed to establish a new “Brexit Loan Scheme” which will provide affordable, flexible financing to Irish businesses that are either currently impacted by Brexit or who will be in the fut...

180. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the individual allocation to AEOS, GLAS and organics under the €233.8 million announced for agri-environmental schemes in budget 2018. (Question 44451/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Agriculture Scheme Data)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): The allocations for the individual schemes mentioned by the Deputy will be set out in the Revised Estimates Volume (REV) to be published later this year.
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181. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the individual allocation for each non-commercial State sponsored body under his Department’s aegis (details supplied) announced in budget 2018; and the 2017 allocation for each body. (Question 44452/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Budget Measures)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): The 2017 information requested by the Deputy is set out as follows:
   2017 Budget€000 Teagasc 128,130 Bord Bia 34,492 Marine Institute 31,563 Bord Iascaigh Mhara 44,088 Sea Fisheries Protection   Authority 12,800   251,073 

The individual allocations for 2018 will be set out in the Revised Estimates Volume (REV) to be published later this year.
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164. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the persons who currently work in the greyhound industry, in tabular form. (Question 44107/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Greyhound Industry)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Bord na gCon is a commercial State body, established under the Greyhound Industry Act, 1958, chiefly to control greyhound racing and to improve and develop the greyhound industry. 
Bord na gCon is a body corporate and a separate legal entity to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
Accordingly, the information being requested by the Deputy has been forwarded to Bord na gCon for direct reply.
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165. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the steps he will take to ensure that an ANC payment due to a person (details supplied) is issued; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44118/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Areas of Natural Constraint Scheme Payments)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): An application under the 2017 Areas of Natural Constraints (ANC) Scheme was received from the person named on 12 May 2017. Processing of this application is now completed and payment will issue directly to the nominated bank account of the person named shortly.
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166. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans to remove the 20% rule on planting unenclosed land and replace it with a system that assesses productivity and environmental suitability for forestry; the evidence used to calculate the 20% figure; and if other European countries have such a rule. (Question 44126/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Afforestation Programme)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): In 2010, a change was made in Ireland’s scheme rules that limited the amount of unenclosed land in any one afforestation application to 20%. Unenclosed land is usually found in upland areas and is generally less fertile than enclosed or improved land found at lower elevations.  There is compelling evidence surrounding the difference in productivity of tree species planted on unenclosed and enclosed land.  This measure became ...

167. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of farmers and non-farmers participating in planting schemes under the forest programme 2014 to 2020. (Question 44127/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Afforestation Programme)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): My Department publishes annual afforestation statistics which are available on its website.  Those statistics include numbers of farmers and non-farmers who participate in afforestation each year.  Those numbers are set out in the following table, for 2014 to 2016, which are the most recent available figures. 
It should be noted that the non-farmer category is primarily made up of recently retired farmers or the family members...

168. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the criteria required for the leasing of agricultural land for solar panel use; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44177/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Alternative Energy Projects)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): I welcomed the Minister for Finance’s announcement in the Budget to provide for the leasing of agricultural land for solar panels to be classified as qualifying agricultural activity for the purposes of specific Capital Acquisitions Tax and Capital Gains Tax reliefs. This initiative, which I sought in my annual agri-taxation Budget submission, is subject to the panels covering no more than 50 per cent of the total farm holdin...

169. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 167 of 4 October 2017, if there was a disease outbreak or other incident resulting in extensive fish mortalities at a site (details supplied) previous to the recent jellyfish strike; the date his Department and Inland Fisheries Ireland were notified of the disease outbreak or incident; the number of mortalities from this disease outbreak or incident; and the condition and number of the remaining fish at the time of the jellyfish strike. (Question 44185/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Fish Farming)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): My Department has been advised by the Marine Institute that the aquaculture site referred to by the Deputy experienced a disease outbreak in advance of the jellyfish strike. 
On 21 September my Department received an inquiry from Inland Fisheries Ireland concerning large quantities of dead fish at the site referred to by the Deputy. Inquiries by my Department’s Marine Engineering Division indicated that substantial mortalitie...

170. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the compensation fund for biotoxin events in aquaculture provided by the State can be accessed for the recent mortalities through jellyfish strikes on salmon farms; and the extent, duration and rationale of the fund. (Question 44186/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Fish Farming)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Ireland’s €240 million European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Operational Programme 2014-20 provides €29.6 million to support the sustainable development of the aquaculture sector, in accordance with the 2015 National Strategic Plan for Sustainable Aquaculture Development. This includes a €2 million fund to aid mollusc farmers affected by suspension of harvesting of molluscs during periods of raised biotoxin levels.  
In accord...

171. Deputy Pat Deering asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the reason a person (details supplied) did not qualify for a single farm payment since inheriting a 30 acre farm in 2014. (Question 44202/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Agriculture Scheme Eligibility)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): In order to be eligible for an automatic allocation of entitlements under the Basic Payment Scheme, a farmer must have been eligible to receive a direct payment under the 2013 Single Payment Scheme. The person named commenced farming under the herd as supplied in September 2014 and prior to this he held a separate herd number from 12 June 2012 until 31 August 2014.  He did not hold payment entitlements under either of these h...

172. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the position regarding the issuing of a 2016 ANC payment to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44235/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Areas of Natural Constraint Scheme Payments)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): An application under the 2016 ANC Scheme was received from the person named on 6 April 2016.   
Under the 2016 ANC Scheme, eligible applicants were required to meet a minimum stocking density of 0.15 livestock units per eligible forage hectare for a retention period of seven consecutive months and to maintain an annual average of 0.15 livestock units calculated over the twelve months of the scheme year.  In addition, Sheep far...

173. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when his Department will release a report (details supplied) on the economic assessment of the potential of harness racing in Ireland which has been completed since February 2017; if this can now be released with a view to implementing its recommendations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44259/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Departmental Reports)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): The Indecon report to review the Irish harness racing sector is being examined by officials within my Department and its recommendations are under active consideration. 
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174. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of applications under the 2017 national reserve and young farmers scheme; the number of applications processed to date if not yet finalised; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44263/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Young Farmers Scheme)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): My Department has received 1,339 applications under the 2017 National Reserve and 9,308 applications under the 2017 Young Farmers Scheme.  Processing of applications is at an advanced stage. My Department continues to engage with a number of applicants where outstanding documentation is required to finalise their applications and my Department is focussed on maximising the number of applications that will be finalised for the...

175. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his views on a matter (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44290/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Fisheries Protection)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): I am aware of the Irish Wildlife Trust’s request to ban the practice of pair trawling in coastal areas in order to maintain the sprat population to the benefit of seabirds and marine life. Sprat is a short-lived species and an important prey fish for many marine species thus vital to the ocean food chain as well as an important source of income for inshore fishermen.
The central objective of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) ...

409. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the State bodies or boards that fall under the remit of his Department; and the number of members of each State body or board who are not qualified within the field in which the board or body has oversight. (Question 43408/17 asked on 17 Oct 2017 - Departmental Bodies Data)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): There are twelve State Bodies under the aegis of my Department, as listed. Vacancies on the Boards of these twelve bodies, other than those which are filled on the basis of nominations from specified organisations*, are advertised and processed by the Public Appointments Service (PAS). In this regard, an Information Booklet is prepared for each vacancy which, among other matters, sets out the skills and experience necessary ...

410. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will extend membership of the monitoring committee for Ireland’s rural development programme 2014 to 2020 to an organisation (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43450/17 asked on 17 Oct 2017 - Rural Development Programme)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): I met with members of the INHFA on Tuesday, 26 September, and had a wide-ranging discussion with them on many issues including their application for membership of the Monitoring Committee for the Rural Development Programme. 
The Monitoring Committee was established at the outset of the Programme in 2015, in accordance with regulatory requirements, and comprises diverse and representative group of stakeholders.  It has not bee...

411. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will review and provide an update on a matter (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43511/17 asked on 17 Oct 2017 - Property Registration)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Officials in the Lands Branch of my Department are actively engaging with the Property Registration Authority regarding this matter and will reply directly to the solicitor involved when the issue has been resolved.
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412. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when a GLAS balancing payment will issue to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43524/17 asked on 17 Oct 2017 - GLAS Payments)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): The person named was approved into GLAS 2 with a contract commencement date of 1 January 2016 and has been paid the 85% advance payment for 2016.
During the processing of the 15% 2016 balance payment an issue presented on the computerised crosscheck of Department databases. Department officials are actively working to resolve this issue with a view to releasing the outstanding payment as soon as possible.
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