A consultation process on the latest amendment to the Rural Development Programme (RDP) has begun, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue has confirmed.

Minister McConalogue announced yesterday (Monday, March 15) that the consultation on the tenth amendment to the RDP had commenced.

The amendment will formally put in place the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) – which largely funds Pillar II payments under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) – that was agreed at EU level last year.

The amendment will also “build on the RDP measures already in place as well as supporting farmers and rural communities to contribute to the green economic recovery,” Minister McConalogue said.

The amendment is being referred to the RDP Monitoring Committee for consideration, before being submitted to the European Commission for approval later this month, Minister McConalogue explained.

The draft proposals provide for the implementation of measures during the two-year transitional period between the 2014-2020 RDP and the new CAP Strategic Plan.

The department said that the amendment will ensure continuity of existing measures in the programme for the transitional period, as well as targeting €190 million of funding under the EU Recovery Instrument (EURI) towards biodiversity, climate and environmental measures, as well as economic and social development in rural areas.

“Further announcements on the related schemes will be made in the coming weeks following consultation with the Monitoring Committee and agreement on the amendment by the European Commission,” Minister McConalogue concluded.