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Sinn Féin welcome progress on Nitrates grant levels

7 July, 2005

Sinn Féin Agriculture and Rural Development Spokesperson, Fermanagh South
Tyrone MP Michelle Gildernew has welcomed the announcement that Grant aid
under the Farm Nutrient Management Scheme, will increase to 60%, following
European Commission approval.

Ms Gildernew said:

"Sinn Féin have lobbied extensively to have the level of grant aid
available under this scheme extended to 60%. It was one of our manifesto
commitments in the recent elections.

"Following a meeting with Jeff Rooker I welcome the more balanced approach
that is now being proposed in dealing with both the issue of nitrates and
also phosphates.

"I particularly welcome the flexible approach to the proposed closed
period for the spreading of organic manure of 29 October to 31 January and
look forward to a positive response from the EU Commission.

"It is vital that all the agricultural stakeholders work in partnership to
achieve an action plan that will allow us to meet the requirements of EU
directives and our commitments to the environment while at the same time
giving farmers a realistic way of meeting these new requirements." ENDS

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