Following intense pressure from farm organisations, in late 2015 the Department issued farm building grant approvals for urgent dairy investments under TAMS II.
Approximately 930 applications were approved by January for such investments, 784 under the Dairy Equipment Scheme and 147 for dairy-related investments under the Young Farmer Capital Investment Scheme.
However, it has now emerged that although in many instances the proposed investments are fully in place, grant aid payments may not issue until later in the year.
It is understood that the Department is still in the process of developing its online payments system and it is believed that the first payments for TAMS II investments will not issue until June at the earliest.
It is understood that many farmers, who applied for capital grant assistance under the TAMS II scheme in 2015, are now facing a serious cash flow problem.
With the majority of applicants engaged in dairy farming, many are suffering from the worst milk price in many years coupled with now the significant costs of on-farm investments with grant aid payments possibly several months away.
Under the Young Farmer Capital Investment Scheme, a total of 520 applications has been received with over 200 of these applying for dairy investments while over 1,000 applications in total have been submitted for the Dairy Equipment Scheme.
TAMS II offers grant aid of 40% for certain on-farm capital investments (60% to ‘Young Farmers’).
The areas identified for funding over the period of the scheme are: farm nutrient storage, animal housing, dairy equipment, low emission spreading equipment, animal welfare and farm safety, pig and poultry investments, and organic capital investment.
The new TAMS measure will make €395m available to Irish farmers for investing in on-farm infrastructure, facilities and equipment.
All TAMS schemes have been opened and the applications received under the first tranches of both the Young Farmer Capital Investment Scheme and the Dairy Equipment Scheme are now being processed and appovals are issuing.
According to the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney, interest in TAMS to date has exceeded expectations and he added that clearly many Irish farmers are looking once again at the benefits of investing in their enterprises and expanding production.