Do you qualify for the new young farmer grants?

Details of the new grants for young farmers, which cover 60% of farm investment, have been announced.

Here we set out some of the main criteria for those wishing to apply for the supports.

The Scheme is open to farmers who:

(i) are more than 18 years and not more than 40 years of age at the date of submitting the application form;

(ii) Meet the requirements of set-up for the first time within five years of the date of receipt of an application under this Scheme;

(iii) own or have leasehold title to the site on which it is proposed to carry out the development (subject to (v));

(iv) have a minimum of 5 hectares owned and /or leased which have been declared under the Basic Payment Scheme or equivalent in the year of application or preceding year or in the case of intensive enterprises, generate a minimum of 20 production units from farming;

(v) fulfill the requirement regarding occupational skill and competence on the date of application or within 36 months from the date of issue of Department approval to the applicant to commence works.

If this criterion is not met the applicant will not be eligible for the 60% rate. No extensions shall be granted to this period, whether on grounds of force majeure or otherwise;

(vi) in the case of a young farmer farming with others, a declaration is required that the Young Farmer exercises effective and long term control over the partnership or legal person in terms of decisions related to management, benefits and financial risks either solely or jointly together with other members of the partnership.

Educational requirements

Applicants must have completed one of the Departments approved courses listed  or an equivalent course on or before the date of lodgement of an application for support or, at the latest, within 36 months from the date of issue of Department approval to commence works.

Where this deadline for completion of the educational requirements is not respected, grant aid will be paid at the standard rate of 40%.

Qualifications that are claimed to be equivalent will be considered. All such cases should be submitted to Young Farmers Capital Investment Scheme Section, Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine, Johnstown Castle Estate, Co. Wexford for decision prior to lodging an online application under the Scheme.

In place of original certificates, copies of original certificates which have been certified to be true copies by the agent of the applicant will be accepted by the Department.

Where original certificates are not available, only an original confirmation of the award of the qualification issued by the awarding body will be accepted.

Eligibility of applicant where holding is owned/leased by a legal person

Where an application for support concerns a holding owned or leased by a legal person, such application shall only be acceptable where the applicant exercises effective and long-term control over the legal person in terms of decisions related to management, benefits and financial risks, and the applicant otherwise meets the requirements of the Scheme in full.

Where several natural persons, including person(s) who are not young farmers(s), participate in the capital or management of the legal person, the young farmer shall be capable of exercising such effective and long-term control either solely or jointly together with other farmers. The Declaration at Annex D must be signed.

The provisions of the Scheme, particularly in relation to the date of set-up and eligibility shall be interpreted accordingly.

The applicant shall indicate the name and address and CRO number of the legal person concerned when applying online and shall furnish proof that he/she exercises effective and long-term control over that legal person. The young farmer must be listed on the company documentation as a director and must be a shareholder to be eligible under the scheme.

A copy of a company’s Companies Registration Office Certificate and Memorandum and Articles of Association must be submitted in support of the application.

For more information click here to see the Department’s full Terms and Conditions

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