A third of TAMS approvals have been issued by the Department

Full approval has issued to 2,400 applicants under the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS II), according to the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed.

This represents 33% of farmers who have applied to the three tranches of the scheme. Some 7,100 farmers have applied to TAMS, the Minister has confirmed.

“The number of applications received under the scheme was over 2,900 applications in the first tranche, over 2,200 in the second tranche and 2,000 in the third tranche.

“As urgent approvals were requested in some cases, 1,100 part approvals in respect of dairy and low emission slurry spreading equipment issued.

“Full approvals have issued in over 2,400 cases to date and approvals continue to issue on an ongoing basis.”

Meanwhile, the Minister said that in respect of payments it is expected that the payment claim facility will be available in the coming weeks.

Earlier this month, IFA said that the approval rate will increase substantially over the next number of weeks.

IFA Rural Development Committee Chairman Joe Brady acknowledged that progress is being made but that it needs to be speeded up for all 5,000 farmers who have applied for both tranche 1 and 2.

He has urged that priority files are dealt with as many farmers want to avail of the good building weather conditions so that investments are completed before next winter.

Brady also has called on the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed to prioritise TAMS payments for those farmers who have completed their works following the part approvals issued at the end of 2015.

“The excuse that the Department IT system is not yet ready for farmers to apply online is not acceptable as it is six months since approvals were issued.

“Many farmers have credit arrangements involving bridging finance with their banks which will run out if the grant aid is not paid immediately.

“The problem has become more acute with the serious downturn in commodity prices and the consequent farm income problem on many farms,” he said.