National Reserve ‘expected to retain same basic terms’ for 2021

The announcement of a 2021 National Reserve “shows an laudable ambition on the part of the Department of Agriculture to encourage young people to consider farming as a career within an ever-changing agriculture sector”, according to the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA).

Commenting following a meeting with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine on the matter, ICMSA deputy president Lorcan McCabe welcomed the move.

The deputy president said that the 2021 scheme is expected to retain the same basic terms and conditions, meaning that the off-farm income limits, age and set up requirements remain in place.

There will be close to €6 million allocated for the two-year transition which is similar to previous years and this is being funded through a once-off allocation of unused funds committed to previous young farmer schemes and the 20% clawback from sales of entitlements and the non-use of entitlements for two years.

McCabe stressed that the department must ensure that only genuine cases receive an allocation from the National Reserve.

McCabe also confirmed that convergence will not apply for 2021 and most likely 2022 as well – but that has to be confirmed.

The break in convergence “is a relief to those farmers on higher average entitlements but low overall payments who have suffered considerable losses under convergence”, he added.