Funding for National Reserve to be limited in 2016 – Minister

Funding for the National Reserve in 2016 is set to be limited, according to the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney.

However, he also says that that demand for the Reserve next year is likely to be much lower.

Successful applicants under the National Reserve will be eligible for an allocation of entitlements on land for which they hold no entitlements and/or a top up to the value of existing entitlements held by them, where such entitlements have a value below the National Average.

In accordance with the EU Regulations governing the National Reserve, Member States must give priority access to the two categories of ‘young farmer’ and ‘new entrant to farming’.

According to the Minister the National Reserve in 2015 is based on 3% of the Basic Payment Scheme financial ceiling, which is estimated at providing approximately €24 million in funding.

He says based on the level of applications, with some 6,500 applications having been received, it is expected that there will be considerable demand on the National Reserve fund in 2015.

The Department of Agriculture also opened a second phase of applications to cater for other categorys including the much publicised cohort know as ‘old young farmers’.

However, from 2016 onwards there is no designated funding for the National Reserve, the Minister said.

He added the only source of funding available to the National Reserve will be from clawback from the sale of entitlements without land and from unused entitlements, so the available resource could be limited.

However he noted that it is also expected that the level of demand in 2016 and subsequent years will be significantly less than in 2015 which was the first year of operation of the National Reserve under the Basic Payment Scheme.