Department announces details of 2016 Young Farmers Scheme

The Department of Agriculture has opened the 2016 Young Farmers Scheme to applications with details as to how the scheme will operate this year.

Applications under the Young Farmer Scheme must be submitted on or before May 16, 2016.

Under the Young Famers Scheme, the basic payment awarded to young farmers, newcomers or farms set up in the previous five years is increased by 25% for the first five years.

Applicants this year are also required to have submitted a valid Basic Payment Scheme Application to the Department by May 16, 2016.

Applications must be submitted online through agfood.ie. Therefore, applicants must be registered for online services (OLS) with the Department.

A successful applicant to the Young Farmers Scheme in 2015, who is eligible to continue participation in this scheme in 2016, should ensure that s/he ticks the appropriate box on the 2016 BPS application.

Where the Young Farmers Scheme tick box does not appear on the 2016 BPS Application for a successful applicant to the Young Farmers Scheme in 2015, who is eligible to continue participation in this scheme in 2016, they should submit a full Young Farmers Scheme application using the online facility.

Also Read: Young Farmers Scheme Explained

First-time applicants under the Young Farmers Scheme in 2016 should use the separate online application facility on Agfood.ie. To do this they will need to register first at www.agfood.ie or contact Agfood Online Services Helpdesk in the Department’s Portlaoise Office, Lo call 0761 064424/email [email protected]

The Department has said that the ‘five year’ payment/eligibility period will be calculated from the time the Young Farmer qualifies for Young farmer scheme eligibility in the group.

It says in the case where a young farmer has already been carrying out an agricultural activity either individually or as part of a group/ partnership/Company, this period of agricultural activity will be included in the calculation of the five year period.

The ‘five year’ eligibility period, as defined in the EU Regulation governing the Young Farmers
Scheme to 2019, is set out in the table below:

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According to the Department, in accordance with the conditions set out in EU Regulations eligibility for payment under the Young Farmers Scheme shall cease if the Young Farmer no longer has control either soley or jointly within the farming entity.

Applicants are required to immediately inform the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine of such a change.

Also, it says any change to the registration details of the herdnumber or farming entity, for example 2016 Individual Applicant joining a Partnership in 2016, Change of Directors in a Company, must be notified to the Department. A new or revised Young Farmers Scheme application may be required.