The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) will receive an increase in funding of €32 million euro in Budget 2022.

Minister for Public Expenditure made the announcement in the Dáil today (Tuesday, October 12) as part of the Budget 2022 announcement, which also included statements by Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe.

Minister McGrath told the TDs and ministers: “I’m allocating €1.85 billion for the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine next year, an increase of €32 million on the 2021 budget allocation.

“This funding package will maintain critical supports across the sector while also providing for a number of new measures,” he added.

The measures are as follows:

  • Provision for a second phase of the soil sampling programme in 2022 (€15 million);
  • Fully establishing the Food Ombudsman (€4 million);
  • Delivering on the commitment to double ex-gratia funding for Animal Welfare Organisations by 2022 (€1.5 million).

The aim of ‘Programme A’ on Food Safety, Animal and Plant Health and Animal Welfare is to maintain high standards of food safety and animal health and welfare, support for food traceability systems and deliver research, testing and disease eradication activities.

Under this programme, the 2022 allocation will allow the department to:

  • Conduct 2,800 on-farm and animal transport controls and inspections;
  • Conduct inspections of live animal consignments at Border Inspection Posts;
  • Carry out 8.8 million tests for bovine TB annually;
  • Provide additional supports for animal welfare;
  • Unwind fur farming operations in Ireland.

Farm sector supports and controls

The aim of this programme is to promote environmentally sustainable farming, including mitigation of climate change, while supporting the rural economy and farm incomes.

Under this programme, the 2022 allocation will allow the department to:

  • Expand the Organic Farming Scheme giving access to a higher number of participants;
  • Enable the ANC, BDGP and Sheep Welfare Scheme to continue support of farm incomes and incentivise environmental improvements;
  • Fund the Forestry Programme through new afforestation establishment grants, forestry premia and forestry development supports.

Funding for CAP in Budget 2022

Minister McGrath added that he has been in discussions with Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine, Charlie McConalogue, in relation to the indicative allocations for the Common Agricultural Policy Strategic Plan (CSP) 2023-2027.

He said that the agriculture minister is currently finalising the details and will publish them shortly as part of a further public consultation on the plan, which is required to be submitted to the EU Commission by the end of this year.

Minister McGrath continued: “In this context, both the minister and I are conscious of the special position accorded to agriculture in the Programme for Government, and the commitment made in relation to the allocation of carbon tax.”

Rural development

In terms of rural development and communities, Minister McGrath explained that Covid-19 has highlighted the “value of community”.

He said: “As we move forward, we must carry this with us and continue to empower and support vibrant, inclusive and sustainable communities throughout Ireland.

“To support this, I am allocating €376 million to the Department of Rural and Community Development [DRCD] next year, including an additional €12 million in current expenditure,” he added.

€4 million of the additional €12 million will be provided to the SICAP programme targeting groups which are currently under-represented.

This current funding package is being provided alongside a €23 million increase in capital funding for the department next year.