The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has broadened the scope of the Protein Aid Scheme to include the cereal-protein mixes commonly known as combi-crops in 2022. The Department has indicated that farmers can receive up to €150 per hectare of combi crops, with the crops sown declared on their 2022 BPS application. The new element of the scheme aims to enhance the options to support the domestic production of protein crops and reduce Ireland’s reliance on imported feed materials. This has been a key demand of the Irish Organic Association to policymakers for several years, including at the CAP Consultative Committee where Gillian Westbrook is an active member. Organic farmers can also apply where applicable for the existing protein monoculture payment of up to €300 per hectare for beans, peas and lupins.
Under the draft CAP Strategic Plan, support for cereal-protein mixes is proposed as a key action for the new Protein Aid Scheme 2023-2027. The Irish Organic Association will continue to put forward our farmer members’ views through the CAP Consultative Committee and other fora as the process starts drawing to a close.
For the 2022 Protein Aid Scheme, farmers have until 16 May to submit their BPS applications via agfood.ie, with the possibility to make amendments without incurring a penalty until 31 May 2022.
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