The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) has confirmed that funding has been allocated for the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS) for all of 2021 and not just for the next tranche which begins on Saturday, January 16.

The scheme provides grants for on-farm capital investment and the current tranche comes to an end tomorrow, Friday, January 15.

Tranche 21 of the scheme will open on Saturday, January 16, and close on April 16, 2021; however, funding has been allocated for the rest of 2021 for the scheme, the department has confirmed to AgriLand.

Clarity on tranches

The confirmation of funding will come as welcome news to farmers, who want to know if they can proceed with investment plans in 2021.

Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) Rural Development Committee chairman Michael Biggins said: “It’s important that there will be no gap between the closing of one tranche and the opening of another.

Over €260 million has been paid out to 18,500 applicants, and €80 million was announced in Budget 2021 for TAMS.

“I am calling on the Minister of Agriculture [Charlie McConalogue] to confirm that there will be four definite tranche dates for 2021, which is vital to allow farmers to continue with investment plans,” he said.

Biggins pointed out that only 70% of applicants have been approved for the last two tranches. Unsuccessful applicants have been carried forward to subsequent tranches, leaving farmers facing an uncertain situation concerning their investments. 

“All Tranche 20 applicants, including the applicants carried over from previous tranches, must receive approval without delay. IFA is urging the minister to ensure that the delays in previous tranches are addressed. This issue must be rectified to avoid on-farm investment plans stalling,” Biggins concluded.