€920,000 paid out under old young farmer scheme – here’s where the money went

To date, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has accepted 260 applications under the Old Young Farmer category of the 2015 National Reserve, the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed has said.

Some €923,312.66 has been allocated under the scheme to the 260 applicants.

Co. Cork had the highest number of applicants to the scheme, with 30 old young farmers applying, and they were allocated €104,000.31.

Co. Kerry had the next highest number of applicants, with 23 and received €118,335.59 under the scheme. In Donegal, there was 22 successful applicants to the scheme and are in receipt of €84,208.06.

According to the data, only two counties had no applicants to the scheme; Louth and Dublin. Meanwhile, the county that received the lowest allocation of funding under the scheme was Wicklow with €5,719.00.

The term ‘old young farmer’ is used to describe that group of farmers who, based on the date they established their holding in 2008 or 2009, did not have the opportunity to benefit from the Young Farmers Installation Scheme and who in 2015 will not be eligible to qualify as a ‘young farmer’ under the new Basic Payment Scheme.

The Installation Scheme was suspended in October 2008 while only those farmers who established their holding on or after the January 1, 2010 may qualify as ‘young farmers’ under the Basic Payment Scheme.

Old young farmer applicants

In order for a farmer to be eligible for the scheme, applicants had to meet several conditions, including not having an off-farm income that did not exceed €40,000 in one of the tax years 2013 or 2014.

He or she also had to have successfully completed a recognised course of education in agriculture giving rise to an award at Fetac Level 6 or equivalent. Alternatively, he or she had to commit to commencing such a course by September 30, 2016.

The applicant must not have been aged no more than 40 years of age at any time during the calendar year in which they first submitted an application under the Basic Payment Scheme.