Coveney reveals details of €4bn rural development plan

Programme will be ‘vital support’ for agri-food, natural resources and balanced development

Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney: details of the rural development programme are being worked out for submission to the European Commission.  Photograph: Dan Sheridan

Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney: details of the rural development programme are being worked out for submission to the European Commission. Photograph: Dan Sheridan

Wed, May 14, 2014, 01:00


Details of the Government allocation to the EU-backed €4 billion rural development programme (RDP), which runs from this year until 2020, have been announced by Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney.

Speaking at the launch in Dublin, Mr Coveney said final details of the RDP were being worked out and it would be submitted to the European Commission by the end of next month.

“The new programme will be a vital support to rural Ireland in terms of enhancing the competitiveness of the agri-food sector, managing natural resources in a sustainable manner, and ensuring balanced development of rural areas,” Mr Coveney said.

Minister of State Tom Hayes said the design of RDP schemes would ensure support was targeted at fostering innovation, improving competitiveness and underpinning sustainability.

The main provisions of the RDP schemes include:
nAn allocation of €1.45 billion to the new agri-environment

scheme (Glas) which will provide for a maximum payment of €5,000 for up to 50,000 farmers. It is anticipated some 25,000-30,000 farmers will be accepted into the scheme in 2015.

In addition , farmers who take on particularly tough environmental actions may qualify for an annual top-up of up to €2,000 under Glas+.

An allocation of €1.37 billion under the areas of natural constraint (ANC) scheme (formerly disadvantaged areas scheme), pending the reassessment of areas covered by the scheme on the basis of new biophysical criteria that must be in place by 2018.

It is also proposed to add a top-up payment for a separate category of island farmers within the structure of the ANC scheme.

In relation to on-farm capital investment, the allocation for the new targeted agricultural modernisation scheme (Tams) II has been increased significantly to €395 million.
€70 million for locally led agri-environmental schemes, involving two flagship projects, the expansion of the Burren farming for conservation scheme and new projects in freshwater pearl mussel catchment areas.

An increased budget of €44 million for organic farming.

A beef data and genomics programme worth €295 million to build on the sustainability of Irish beef production.