Macra throws support behind Creed’s National Reserve plans

Plans announced today (Wednesday, January 16) by Michael Creed, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, to open the National Reserve for applications have been welcomed by Macra na Feirme.

Macra called the initiative an “essential scheme for young farmers starting up and new entrants to farming”.

Macra national president James Healy was at the launch of the minister’s scheme, where he said: “It is important to have an ongoing and consistent National Reserve scheme to give young farmers entering farming to get a fair and equitable start relative to their counterparts.

Once the scheme is opened as part of the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), young farmers who are eligible should apply without delay.

Healy’s comments echoed the statement Minister Creed gave when he announced the plans, who said: “The National Reserve continues to be a vital resource for providing support to young farmers and new entrants to farming in the crucial years following establishment of the farm holding.”

The reserve has come about as a result of consultations between the department and the Direct Payments Advisory Committee – which was made up of members of farming bodies, agricultural advisors and education providers.

These consultations resulted in a recommendation to provide applications for the National Reserve in 2019.

It is expected that the funding set out for the National Reserve this year will be around €3 million, which will be achieved through ‘natural replenishment’, and would not require a liner cut to the value of all Basic Payment Scheme entitlements, according to a statement from Minister Creed’s department.