A total of €2.8 million in 2017 National Reserve payments has been issued to date, according to the latest figures from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Over 750 applications under the 2017 National Reserve are cleared for payment to date, the department added.

The department outlined that approximately 1,300 applications were received under the National Reserve in 2017.

In a statement to AgriLand, the department said: “Some 330 of these applications did not meet the eligibility criteria and were unsuccessful or were withdrawn.

The department is working with individual applicants in relation to processing remaining applications, where outstanding information is required to finally process the application or land details are being finalised.

Earlier this year, the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, confirmed that there would be a budget of just over €5 million available for the National Reserve in 2017 – following a ‘linear cut’ to the value of all Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) entitlements.

The National Reserve was targeted specifically at educated young farmers and new entrants to farming who fulfilled specific objective criteria.

Meanwhile, about €15.2 million has been paid out to successful applicants to the Young Farmers Scheme, according to the department’s latest scheme payments update.

Just over €24 million in funding is made available each year – from 2015 to 2019 – to the Young Farmers Scheme. The scheme provides an additional payment to successful applicants – per activated entitlement.

Applicants to both the National Reserve and the Young Farmers Scheme had to submit their applications to the department online in 2017.