Almost €20 million paid out under YFS and National Reserve

Almost €20 million has been issued in payments to date by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine under the Young Farmers Scheme (YFS) and the National Reserve for 2018.

Payments to-date under the 2018 National Reserve amount to €2.5 million, while €17.4 million has been paid to-date under the 2018 YFS, the department confirmed.

Clawback on the sale of entitlements without land in 2018 has to-date generated some €280,000.

Payments commenced issuing under the schemes at the start of the month on Monday, December 3, to coincide with balancing payments under the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), according to the department.

The total number of farmer applicants for the 2018 YFS is 9,371, with a varied spread of young farmer applicants from around the country.

Meanwhile, the applicants seeking support under the National Reserve amounts to 844 overall.

In a county-by-county breakdown of both sets of applicants, the department set out the figures, having been asked to do so by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed in response to a parliamentary question submitted by Fianna Fail’s Charlie McConalogue.

National Reserve

The EU Regulations governing the operation of the National Reserve provide for support for the two mandatory priority categories of ‘young farmer’ and ‘new entrant to farming’, according to the department.

Successful applicants receive an allocation of new entitlements from the National Reserve on the basis of one entitlement for one hectare at the national average value of entitlements.

Applicants who already hold existing entitlements which are below the national average value receive a top-up whereby the value of those entitlements will be increased to the national average value.

The maximum number of entitlements and/or top ups allocated is 90.

Young Farmer Scheme

The YFS provides for an additional payment for a maximum of five years to eligible young farmers, according to the Department of Agriculture.

Payment is based on the number of activated payment entitlements held by the young farmer in the year of application, subject to a maximum of 50.