Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has confirmed that consultation on the third amendment of the CAP Strategic Plan (CSP) has now commenced with the CAP Strategic Plan 2023-2027 monitoring committee.

This is the third time since the launch in 2023 that the CSP has been amended, Minister McConalogue said - all in a bid to make incremental improvements for the farmers in CAP schemes.

"While many of the changes in the amendment are minor and technical in nature, there are two changes to schemes for farmers in 2024. In Dairy Beef Welfare, a new scheme for 2024, I have increased the maximum number of eligible animals from 40 to 50, and also increased the maximum possible payment from €800 to €1,000 per year.

"For Protein Aid, I have increased the ceiling from €7m to €10m, following the big increase in interest in that scheme in recent years," McConalogue added.

The benefits of protein crops as a nitrogen fixing crop for reducing fertiliser use and improving soil health are well documented the minister said adding that protein crops are very suitable for the Irish climate.

Protein crops

"An increased area growing protein crops also reduces the industry’s reliance on imported protein," the minister said.

The amendment is now being referred to the CAP Strategic Plan Monitoring Committee for consideration, and will be submitted to the European Commission for its approval in June.

Further announcements on the CSP, including information about the uptake for the 2024 scheme year, will be made in the coming weeks following consultation with the Monitoring Committee and agreement on the amendment with the European Commission.