New National Reserve of up to €3m on the cards for 2020 – IFA

There will be a new National Reserve for young farmers and new entrants in 2020, according to the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA).

Outgoing IFA deputy president Richard Kennedy confirmed the news following a meeting of the Department of Agriculture Direct Payments Advisory Committee in Portlaoise today, Thursday, January 23, which the IFA attended.

Kennedy said it is estimated that there will be up to €3 million in funding for the 2020 Reserve, financed from existing resources, unused entitlements and clawback on sales.

He said it will not be necessary to have any linear cuts on entitlements to fund the 2020 National Reserve.

The outgoing deputy president outlined that it is important that there is a National Reserve and an opportunity for young farmers and new entrants to be able to get entitlements under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) supports.

He said the National Reserve along with the young farmers top-up scheme have proved to be an essential support to young farmers over recent years.

Since 2015 and the commencement of the current CAP, the National Reserve has provided cumulative payments worth €130 million to 8,500 participants.

In addition, the Young Farmers Scheme has paid out €95 million to 8,000 participants.

Kennedy said the conditions for the reserve in respect of education requirements and off-farm income will remain the same, “providing consistency in the approach for young farmers and new entrants”.

In 2019, approximately 900 applicants applied to the National Reserve and some 531 applicants were successful to date, involving 540 young farmers and 31 new entrants, according to the IFA.