Farmers still waiting on grant approvals as winter closes in
Despite the Young Farmer Capital Investment Scheme closing to applications six weeks ago, the Department have yet to issue approvals to farmers.
The situation is leading to significant anger among farmers many only have a short period of time to carry out works.
IFA Rural Development Chairman Flor McCarthy has demanded that Minister Coveney immediately addresses the approvals for TAMS II grant scheme for those farmers who want to urgently proceed to carry out critical investment on their farms.
“It is now six weeks since the Young Farmers scheme closed and it is unacceptable that the Minister is allowing this situation develop,” McCarthy said.
He said already the first tranche has closed for most schemes and he said if the handling of the first tranche of the Young Farmers scheme is anything to go by it does not auger well for the scheme as a whole.
“The problem is particularly acute for dairy farmers who have a window for investment when a cow is dried off. If they do not get the go ahead soon, then they will either postpone their investments or else leave behind much-needed grant aid of 60%,” he said.
According to McCarthy, as many as 550 farmers applied for the first tranche of the Young Farmers Capital investment scheme.
The young farmer grants come under the Young Farmer Capital Investment Scheme, which is the first of the new Targeted Modernisation Schemes (TAMS II).
The Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney said the Scheme is very important – offering eligible young farmers a special rate of aid of 60% of investment costs, compared to the standard rate of 40% which will be generally available to other farmers.
The specific areas of investment will include:
- Animal housing
- Slurry storage
- Dairy equipment
- Specialised slurry spreading equipment,
- Animal welfare and farm safety,
- Specialised pig & poultry investments.
- In addition, young farmers will be able to avail of grant-aid for construction of new dairy buildings.
The total allocation for the various on-farm investment schemes planned under TAMS II, including the Young Farmer Investment scheme, is €395m over the course of the programme.
Ministers Coveney announced today that an indicative allocation of €120m was being made available to young farmers under the terms of the new Scheme over the full RDP period.