ICMSA ‘expects 2 more TAMS tranches before the end of the year’

The Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) has said that “three issues need to be addressed immediately” by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine”, after the closure of the August 2020 tranche of the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS).

Denis Drennan, the association’s Farm and Rural Affairs Committee chairperson, said that the closing dates for the remaining 2020 tranche “should be announced immediately so that farmers can plan accordingly to meet these deadlines”.

He said that the ICMSA expects that there will be two more tranches before the end of the year and there is a “clear need for farmers to know the deadline dates now” so that they can get their applications in on time.

“Secondly, we also think it would be very useful and helpful to farmers if the department could state now that there will be a TAMS scheme in place in 2021.

There is no clarity on this matter and if, for instance, interested farmers knew that a scheme will be in place for January 1, 2021, it would be hugely helpful for some farmers and give them the necessary time to plan the correct investment for their particular farm rather than rushing in an application before the end of this year.

“Thirdly, there are many farmers still waiting for approvals for earlier tranches and it’s essential that these approvals are issued without any further delay so that farmers can put in place the necessary investments before the coming winter.”

TAMS must be approved ‘without further delay’

Drennan continued: “The ICMSA is aware of a number of farmers who are ready to commence work on their farm but cannot do so due to the lack of approval.

Given the economic downturn, everything possible needs to be done to generate and maintain economic activity in rural areas and this includes getting TAMS approvals out without any further delays.

“For many farmers, the necessary works will have to be done in the next few weeks before cattle are housed, and if the approval is not issued immediately the work will not be completed until cattle go to grass in spring 2021.

“This is a huge frustration for the farmers in question that could be avoided by the department issuing the approvals without any delay,” he concluded.