National Reserve confirmed for 2019

The National Reserve will be open for applications in 2019, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, has confirmed.

Making the announcement today (Wednesday, January 16) Minister Creed 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.”

Following recent consultation between the department and the Direct Payments Advisory Committee, comprising members of the main farming bodies and agricultural advisory and education providers, Minister Creed has acted on recommendations arising from this consultation process to provide for applications to the National Reserve in 2019.

The EU Regulations underpinning the operation of the National Reserve provide for priority access to the mandatory categories of ‘Young Farmer’ and ‘New Entrant to Farming’.

The funding for the National Reserve in 2019 will be met from natural replenishment of the fund without the requirement for a linear cut to the value of all Basic Payment Scheme entitlements.

It is expected that the funding in place for the 2019 National Reserve will be in the region of €3 million, which, based on the level of applications in recent years, will be sufficient to meet the expected demand.

L-R: Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed; and national president of Macra na Feirme, James Healy

Successful applicants to the National Reserve receive an allocation of entitlements at National Average value or a top-up to the National Average value on entitlements that are below the national average.

Full details of the operation of the scheme, including terms and conditions, will be available when the scheme opens for online applications in early February 2019 to coincide with the opening of the online Basic Payment Scheme applications.

The closing date for receipt of applications under the scheme will be May 15, 2019.

Young Farmers Scheme

The 2019 Young Farmers Scheme will also open for online applications alongside the National Reserve and the Basic Payment Scheme in early February.

Funding of €24 million is available in 2019 for the Young Farmers Scheme.

While the detailed terms and conditions of the National Reserve and the Young Farmers Scheme for 2019 will be made available when the schemes launch for online applications in early February, it is expected that the terms and conditions will be consistent with those that applied in 2017 and 2018.

The minister concluded, noting:

Since 2015 the National Reserve has proven to be a huge success in facilitating the entry of over 7,700 young, well-educated persons into the farming community through the allocation of over €31 million in payment entitlements.

“The 2019 National Reserve will continue to build on this progress in supporting the regeneration of agriculture in Ireland and providing a solid basis for the future of the industry,” Minister Creed added.