Just over 13% of valid TAMS II applications approved for payment

Just over 13% of valid Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Schemes II (TAMS II) applications have been approved for payment, figures show.

Some 13,562 TAMS II applications were submitted by farmers to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Just shy of 71% – or 9,628 – of these applications received approval from the department, according to figures recently released by the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed.

Minister Creed revealed the data in response to a parliamentary question from Fianna Fail’s Agriculture Spokesperson, Charlie McConalogue, on Wednesday, July 26.

Out of these applications that have been approved by the department, only 1,845 payment claims have been lodged.

The department has processed 1,279 – or 69% – of these payments claims and has subsequently approved them for payment.

The TAMS II portfolio includes grant aid for dairy equipment, low-emission slurry spreading equipment and tillage equipment.

The ‌Young Farmer Capital Investment Scheme, the Pig and Poultry Investment Scheme, the Animal Welfare, Safety and Nutrient Storage Scheme and the ‌Organic Capital Investment Scheme also all fall under the TAMS II suite of offerings.

KT Programme frustration

Meanwhile, recent troubles with the Knowledge Transfer (KT) Programme have left some farmers frustrated.

Many farmers are losing confidence in the programme, according to the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association’s (INHFA’s) National President, Colm O’Donnell.

Minister Creed has been called upon by the INHFA to intervene on the behalf of farmers regarding Teagasc’s fees for the KT Programme.

O’Donnell outlined how Teagasc continues to charge farmers for a service that the department is already paying for.

As it stands, the INHFA says, the department pays €1,250 in total for every participant of the KT groups.
Of this, €750 is paid to the farmer while the facilitators (including Teagasc) get the remaining €500 for their services.

However, farmers who were not clients of Teagasc previously, but participated in its groups, are seeing membership fee demands for a minimum of €145, the INHFA has said.

In response, Teagasc clarified that it only facilitates discussion groups for Teagasc clients who have a contract with it. The €145 mentioned is for a club contract, the agency pointed out.

According to the Teagasc Advisory Charges Summary, the ‘KT Group Membership Package’ is listed as a package addition.