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Reviewing legislation and policies

There is a continuing need to monitor the effectiveness of policies and legislation that affect agriculture, the environment and related activities and organisations.
Are such policies reaching their objective?
Very often small changes in the implementation of a regulation or a policy can have dramatic effects at farm level.

A good example of monitoring schemes and policies for effectiveness in achieving their desired outcome is to be found in the case of the Rural Environment Protection Scheme (REPS):

  • The Department of Agriculture and Food have a target of 70,000 farmers participating in REPS by 2006.
  • However, REPS participation peaked at 45,000 farmers in 2002 and declined to less than 40,000 farmers during 2003.
  • In response to this the Department carried out a survey of farmers who did not rejoin in order to find out the main barriers to their continued participation in the scheme.
  • Following an analysis of the survey responses a number of changes have been made (such as a simplification of the scheme and increased payments).
  • As a result it is anticipated that farmer participation in the scheme will rise in 2004.
The future impact of the Mid Term Review of the Common Agricultural Policy on Irish agriculture is unclear, and care is needed in deciding on policy objectives and how to achieve these objectives.

Case Study 10: Reviewing Legislation/Policies
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