Requests made for 12-month TAMS extension

A leading farm lobby group is calling for a 12-month extension to complete works approved under the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS).

In light of the ongoing impact of recent severe weather events, Denis Drennan, chairperson of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association’s (ICMSA’s) Farm and Rural Affairs Committee, has stated that the current time frame “is not within farmers’ power” from a financial, physical and mental well-being perspective.

“Farmers are dealing with soaring feed costs and other bills as a second fodder crisis in the same calendar year has hit,” he said.

Under TAMS grant aid is 60% for young trained farmers, or 40% in all other cases up to a maximum spend of €80,000 for individuals or €160,000 for partnerships. Minimum spend under the scheme is €2,000 (excluding VAT).

The current TAMS rules stipulate that once farmers get approval, they have six months to purchase mobile equipment and 12 months to complete structures and fixed equipment.

“Given the summer drought, obvious extra costs, additional workload and bills incurred by the very difficult spring we had – many farmers who had intended to invest and sought TAMS approval will simply be unable to complete works within the specified time period,” said Drennan.

The ICMSA representative described the year-to-date as a period which has placed “unprecedented pressures” on farmers.

Pragmatism

The farm lobby group is calling on the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, to be “pragmatic” and to extend completion deadlines for existing approvals by one year.

“It will give the farmers concerned the chance to get the works completed without the administrative burden of having to apply for extensions to plans that have already been adjudged to be suitable,” Drennan concluded.

CLASSIFIED ADVERTS