Dáil Éireann - Volume 576 - 03 December, 2003
Written Answers. - Agricultural Sector.
Mr. Murphy Mr. Murphy
89. Mr. Murphy asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food his views on whether the Fischler proposals and decoupling will lead to a reduction in the number of jobs in the agricultural sector; if so, the plans he has to address this; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29339/03]
Mr. Walsh Mr. Walsh
Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mr. Walsh):The number of people employed in agriculture has declined at a rate of about 3% per annum since 1991. During the same period the decline in the number of farms was about 2% per annum. While a decline is likely to continue, analysis of the mid-term review published by FAPRI-Ireland in May 2003 indicated that decoupling was likely to lead to an increase in part-time farming.
I recently decided to implement the full decoupling option with effect from 1 January 2005. In making this decision I was guided by, among other things, the desirability of allowing farmers the greatest degree of freedom possible in their farming enterprises and to ensure that the sector produces for the consumer.
Dáil Éireann 576 Written Answers. Agricultural Sector.