Today, I announced an extension of a number of European Innovation Partnership (EIP) projects funded by the Department of Agriculture under the current Rural Development Programme.
This extension will allow them to continue their work for another year, until the start of the next CAP Strategic Plan in 2023.
EIPs are locally-led environmental schemes involving a range of stakeholder such as farmers, scientises and NGOs acting collaboratively for a common goal.
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine currently has 55 EIP-Agri projects. These projects are located throughout the country and are working on a wide range of issues including biodiversity, water, soil, peatlands, farmer health and farm safely.
Four EIP groups have been awarded further funding to carry on with their project work until the end of 2022.
A lot of important work has been done in these EIP groups with much success, for example, in restoring habitats and biodiversity enhancements. Considerable advances have been made in enabling farmers work together to overcome local issues within their environment.
I believe that it is important to ensure the continuity of that significant work until the new CAP period begins in January 2023. Many of the lessons from these EIPs are being incorporated into our CAP schemes now that they have been successfully piloted on the ground.
Detail of the EIP-Agri groups and their additional funding is as follows;
Duncannon Blue Flag €171,197
Caomhnú Arann €427,560
The Conservation of Breeding Curlew in Ireland €648,284
MacGillycuddy Reeks €323,447
In addition, the Hen Harrier and Pearl Mussel Project recently began paying their 2,000 plus participants for the habitat payments for 2021. This will amount to over €5.6 million over the coming weeks.
Many of the smaller EIP-AGRI projects are also currently issuing famer payments.
The EIP initiative is co-funded by the EU Commission and the Irish Government as part of Ireland’s Rural Development Programme. Essentially, the EIP initiative involves a range of stakeholders (farmers, advisors, researchers, NGOs etc.) coming together in what are termed ‘Operational Groups’ to trial innovative solutions that the Group themselves have developed. There is a wide range of EIP Operational Groups already in existence under Irelands RDP.
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