The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D., confirmed today that the tenth amendment to the Rural Development Programme (RDP) has been submitted to the European Commission for its approval.
Announcing the submission, Minister McConalogue stated,
“This is an important amendment to the Rural Development Programme. It will formally put in place the EU funding that was agreed in the budget negotiations last year, and will build on the RDP measures already in place as well as supporting farmers and rural communities to contribute to the green economic recovery. The amendment has been considered by the Monitoring Committee, and the approval by the European Commission is expected in the coming months. This is a further step in commitment to protect and enhance incomes for our farm families.”
The amendment provides for the implementation of a range of measures during the two-year transitional period between the 2014-2020 RDP and the new CAP Strategic Plan. These include a continuation of existing RDP measures and new initiatives aimed at addressing biodiversity, climate and environment challenges, and the promotion of economic and social development in rural areas. Examples of new initiatives include the recently announced straw incorporation measure, cooperation under the EIP-AGRI structure on innovative approaches to farm safety, and farm-based biodiversity and soil sampling programmes. In addition to national funding, the measures will be funded at EU level by a combination of the well-established European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), and targeted funding of €190 million from the European Union Recovery Instrument (EURI).
Concluding, the Minister said,
“The programming of this funding sets out the direction of travel for us as we look to support farmers, advisors and rural communities to address the enormous environmental challenges that we face, while at the same time dealing with the consequences of, and recovery from, the COVID-19 pandemic.”