Department estimates 6,000 applications to €24m National Reserve

As many as 6,000 applications have been made to the National Reserve, according to latest estimates from the Department of Agriculture.

The Department says it is currently working through the applications received, particularly the large number of paper applications, to establish the final number of applicants.

It says while at this stage it is not possible to give the final number of applications, it is likely to be in the region of 6,000.

The Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney had said that significant demand was expected from ‘Young Farmers’ and ‘New Entrants’ for the first phase of the reserve.

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

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.

The allocation of entitlements and the top-up to the value of existing entitlements is subject to a maximum of 90.

Allocation of new entitlements will be on the basis of one entitlement for one hectare of eligible land declared on the Basic Payment Scheme application for which the applicant(s) holds no entitlements.

Minister Coveney has said in establishing the National Reserve he opted for the maximum available 3% of the Basic Payment Scheme financial ceiling, which is estimated at providing a fund of approx. €24 million in 2015.
Minister Coveney has said in establishing the National Reserve he opted for the maximum available 3% of the Basic Payment Scheme financial ceiling, which is estimated at providing a fund of approx. €24 million in 2015.

Successful applicants, who already hold existing owned entitlements with a value below the national average value, will receive a top-up whereby the value of those entitlements will be increased to the national average value.

While successful applicants who hold leased entitlements that have a value below the National Average will qualify for a top-up to the value of these entitlements.

The value of entitlements allocated from the National Reserve, and the value to which existing entitlements are increased, shall be fixed at the national average value of payment entitlements in the year of allocation.