HC Deb 19 February 1997 vol 290 cc603-4W
Mr. Dalyell

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what funding his Department has allocated in the current year for the operation of agri-environment schemes; and if he will make a statement on the operation of the schemes. [15210]

Mr. Ancram

Total funding for the operation of agri-environment schemes in Northern Ireland is £5.96 million. Of this, £5,092 million is allocated for payment to farmers, £100,000 for monitoring and evaluation costs and £768,000 in respect of operational costs.

The agri-environment schemes are subject to periodic review. Approval has recently been received from the EC to certain minor changes on payment rates and other provisions of the environmentally sensitive area schemes which resulted from a review in 1996. The changes will be introduced shortly. A fundamental review will be carried out in 1998. The organic aid scheme is presently under review.