Mr Patsy McGlone (Mid Ulster): To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs what measures are being taken to support sheep farmers in the Future Agricultural Policy Proposals.
Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs: The public consultation on my Future Agricultural Policy Proposals for Northern Ireland closed on 15 February 2022.
The Policy Proposals included a comprehensive portfolio of measures designed to address the four key outcomes of increasing agricultural productivity; environmental sustainability; improving resilience; and an effective functioning supply chain across all sectors.
Support for breeding ewes was currently not part of the proposed Headage Sustainability Package as the ability to use this mechanism to drive productivity and reduce emissions is less obvious.
No final decisions have been taken on my proposals and it is important that I take time to fully consider the responses to the consultation exercise on the next steps for the development of future agricultural policy for Northern Ireland.