Green Light For Revised Rural Development Programme

Junior Agriculture Minister Tony Killeen says this week’s decision by the EU Rural Development Management Committee to approve Ireland's revised Rural Development Programme (RDP) will bring significant environmental benefits to farms across Clare.

[ClickPress, Wed Jan 20 2010] The Clare T.D said the revised Programme, which provides for spending of additional funds for rural development arising under the Health Check and the European Economic Recovery Package, includes the new agri-environment scheme as well as a number of new on-farm investment schemes.

Minister of State Killeen added: “The RDP is focused on the priority areas of biodiversity, climate change and water management. It offers a menu of measures addressing these priorities and farmers may choose measures which complement the environmental profile of their farms. Details of the operation of the new agri-environment scheme will be finalised over the next few weeks.”

The new agri-environment scheme will benefit up to 10,000 participants and will provide a maximum payment of 5,000 euro. The investment schemes include measures for dairy and sheep farmers, pig and poultry welfare measures and a water conservation scheme. In addition, provision has also been made for funding of establishment grants for bio-energy crops.

The revised Programme must now be formally approved by the European Commission and this is expected by the end of February. The roll-out of the various investment schemes will be phased over the lifetime of the Programme.

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