The View from the Oireachtas: A high level of demand by farmers for grant aid under the Department of Agriculture’s Dairy Equipment Scheme has been observed.

Under the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS) under the 2007-2013 Rural Development Programme, so far €43.5m in grants has been committed and approved for dairy equipment out of a pool of €49m.

The figure came to light following a parliamentary question by Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine this week.

With regard to bio-energy grants, a slow uptake has been noted, with just €1.4m committed out of a pool of €20m. In terms of poultry welfare €11.9m has been approved, with sheep fencing approval of €6.1m and €13.6m for handling sow welfare. A total of €76.9m has been approved out of a total allocation pool of €110m.

Due to the high level of demand by farmers for grant-aid under the Dairy Equipment Scheme, the Agriculture Department noted it has already increased the allocation for that scheme from €45m to €49m by the transfer of €4m from the Rainwater Harvesting Scheme, which had a low uptake.

TAMS applicants have two years from the date of issue of department approval to complete the investment works.

Cows on grass/O’Gorman Photography