‘Clarity needed’ over level of funding in new TAMS tranche – ICMSA

While the announcement that the first tranche of Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS) for 2021 will commence on Saturday, January 16, has been welcomed by the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA), it is calling for more clarity about funding.

The scheme provides grants for on-farm capital investment.

Farm and Rural Affairs committee chairperson, Denis Drennan, said the decision to continue with another tranche of TAMS was a “positive step”; however, he added that it must be accompanied by the allocation of the funding necessary to enable farmers to get approval and carry out investment within the normal Farmers’ Charter deadlines.

Denis Drennan ICMSA

Drennan has called for clarity to be provided around the level of funding so that farmers can be “reasonably confident” that they will be successful in their application.

New inclusions in TAMS

The ICMSA has welcomed the inclusion of the investment items that were included in the Calf Investment Scheme in 2020 in the new TAMS tranche.

Drennan said that the Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue, should ensure that the fast track procedures for applying for grant aid for these investment items under the 2020 Calf Investment Scheme are retained under TAMS so that farmers can put these facilities in place for the upcoming calving season.

On the Covid-19 related extensions, the ICMSA chairperson said that these should be automatic and farmers should not have to contact their local office to get the extension.

“We are in extraordinary times and the need to contact the local office is an unnecessary and pointless requirement at what is a very busy time of year on farms,” Drennan said.

“TAMS is a hugely important scheme not only for farmers, but the wider rural economy and it is crucial that the necessary funding is in place so that the maximum number of farmers are approved under the scheme,” he concluded.

Tranche 21 of the scheme will open on Saturday, January 16, and close on April 16, 2021.