Commissioner Hogan clears the way for funding of new beef producer groups

The European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan has announced changes to the Irish Rural Development Programme (RDP).

One such change was the introduction of a new sub-measure through which funding can be provided for the setting up of new producer organisations in the Irish beef sector.

Following on from Thursday’s meeting with the Minister for Agriculture, Hogan said he was pleased to confirm that the Commission has approved the second amendment to the RDP programme.

The amendment also cleared the way for a number of changes to the GLAS scheme, including a proposal to a payment of up to €7,000 for large tillage farmers undertaking both Minimum Tillage and Catch Crop options.

Other changes to the Irish Rural Development Programme include:
  • A new animal welfare measure targeted specifically at the sheep sector
  • Two additional sub-measures to fund EIP environmental and climate projects, one concerning the Hen Harrier and the other for the Freshwater Pearl Mussel.

The speedy approval of this modification reflects the very good collaboration between the respective services of the Department and the Commission, Commissioner Hogan said in a statement.

Sheep Welfare Scheme deadline fast approaching

A new animal welfare measure targeted specifically at the sheep sector – the Sheep Welfare Scheme – was also included in the amendments to the Rural Development Programme.

The Department of Agriculture has already began to accept applications from farmers wishing to participate in the scheme, with the scheme set to close for applications of January 31.

Successful applicants will be provided with a payment of €10/ewe as long as they comply with the terms and conditions of the scheme.

It is hoped the scheme will make a meaningful positive contribution to sheep welfare with particular regard to the production system and the environment in which Irish sheep production takes place. Everything you need to know about the sheep scheme