FARMING: New remote system in place for controls for Protein Aid Scheme

Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue TD announced the 2021 changes

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Minister Charlie McConalogue announces new monitoring system for Protein Aid Scheme

Controls for this year’s Protein Aid Scheme will for the first time be undertaken remotely through the use of the Area Monitoring System. 

 The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD explains that Checks by Monitoring is an automated and continuous process. It will use satellite data along with other data sources to determine the agricultural activity on all land parcels declared by farmers under the Protein Aid Scheme in 2021.

To facilitate the implementation of the Area Monitoring System (AMS), which will be compulsory in the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) post 2020, a phased introduction is being implemented by Ireland for various schemes over the interim period. The first phase will see Checks by Monitoring (CbM) is being used for the Protein Aid Scheme in 2021.

Minister McConalogue said: “The introduction of these new Checks by Monitoring in 2021 is a positive move towards the simplification of the CAP through the use of technology and in turn offers many benefits to farmers. These include reduced number of on-farm inspections and quicker notification when problems arise, allowing farmers the opportunity to amend their payment claim without penalty, where queries arise. The new notification system aims to minimise the occurrence of non-compliance.”

Protein Aid Scheme

The Protein Aid Scheme is a voluntary coupled support scheme introduced in 2015. It provides support for the growing of protein crops to counteract the dependence on imported protein for use in animal feeds. In addition, these crops, which are nitrogen-fixing, provide important environmental benefits. The rate of payment varies from year to year depending on the number of hectares claimed in any given year, within a financial ceiling. In 2020 this ceiling was €3m and remains at €3m for 2021.