Dáil Éireann - Volume 501 - 24 February, 1999

Written Answers. - Job Creation.

52. Ms Coughlan asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food his views on the need for job creation in alternative enterprises in rural Ireland due to restrictions on mainstream agriculture; and when the White Paper on Rural Development will be published. [5207/99]

Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mr. Walsh): Alternative farm enterprises can make a contribution, although a limited one in most cases, to job creation in rural areas. My Department has provided funding for certain alternative enterprises under the operational programme for agriculture, rural development and forestry, 1994, and through the groups approved under the Leader II Programme.

The White Paper on Rural Development, which is being prepared by an interdepartmental committee, is at an advanced stage of preparation and I hope to submit a document to the Government in the next few months.