EUR1.5 Billion EU Proposal For Rural Development


Minister for State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Tony Killeen T.D. has welcomed a move by European Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel to provide additional funding for rural development.



[ClickPress, Tue Jan 20 2009] The Commissioner this week announced that she will shortly make a proposal to provide an extra EUR1.5 billion in EU funding.

According to Minister Killeen, “This proposed funding will be used for the "new challenges" identified in the recent Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) Health Check and the provision of broadband in rural areas. The new challenges identified include climate change, biodiversity, water management and milk sector adjustment.

The Clare T.D. said it would be particularly important that Ireland receives a fair share of the any additional funds.

He continued, “A significant share would reflect our traditionally high spend on rural development measures. Ireland's rural development programme includes several major agriculture measures including the Rural Environment Protection Scheme (REPS) and payments in disadvantaged areas.”

Minister Killeen pointed out that a key aspect of rural development policy was the discretion allowed to member states and that this should apply on this occasion also.

“I also believe that there should be reasonable flexibility allowed to Member States in how these funds are used within the rural development programme, which includes some of our largest agricultural schemes,” stated the Minister.

Meanwhile, the Junior Agriculture Minister has welcomed the interim report of the Committee on the Uptake of IT in Agriculture and Rural Communities (CUITA).

The overall objective of the CUITA is to accelerate the adoption of information technology (IT) by the farming sector so as to ensure that it reaps all of the efficiency gains available from such technologies and has access to all of the available information sources to make the best decisions for their business, and to promote the participation of Irish farm families in the knowledge society.

Minister Killeen commented, “With the ongoing reform of the CAP, farming must operate in an increasingly competitive environment. Farmers need to use all of the tools available to them to maintain the competitiveness of their enterprise and IT is an important tool in this regard.”

He explained, “The evidence available indicates that those farmers that have already used the Department's online services have had a very positive experience. For example, less that half of one percent of Single Payment applications submitted online through agfood.ie had errors, compared with about 5 per cent of those submitted on paper. These farmers avoided possible delays, and the effort of follow-up contact to resolve errors."

-ENDS-

Notes to Editor:
- Tony Killeen T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (with special responsibility for Fisheries and Forestry), is available for interview and further comment on 0035387-2525304. Alternatively please contact Mark Dunphy of Dunphy Public Relations on 00353868534900 or media@dunphypr.com
- High-resolution images of Minister Killeen are available

Mark Dunphy
Dunphy Public Relations
www.dunphypr.com
media@dunphypr.com
00353-868534900

Company: Dunphy Public Relations


Contact Name: Dunphy Public Relations

Contact Email: media@dunphypr.com

Contact Phone: 00353868534900

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