An analysis of the Rural Environmental Protection Scheme
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Hynes, S. & Murphy, E. (2002) "An analysis of the Rural Environmental Protection Scheme" (Working Paper No. 0060) Department of Economics, National University of Ireland, Galway.
The Rural Environment Protection Scheme (REPS) was introduced under Council Regulation 2078/92 in order to encourage farmers to carry out their activities in a more extensive and environmentally friendly manner. This paper looks at the general design of REPS and its uptake by farmers. It evaluates the obligations that REPS places on farmers and the penalties for non-compliance. The paper also examines, using National Farm Survey data, the extent to which farming activities that can help or hinder the environment have changed at a national level due to the REPS scheme. The analysis shows that REPS has had an impact on machinery & building investment and on land & building maintenance. Fertiliser and pesticide use have fallen marginally as a result of the scheme. However, the impact of REPS on the production of organic nitrogen and on the use of chemical nitrogen has been negligible.