The Department of Agriculture has confirmed that approvals for grant aid will issue to farmers in the TAMS scheme next week.

In a statement, the Department said final sign off on the IT system is expected to be completed this week with approvals to commence next week.

Over 5,000 farmers applied to tranche 1 and 2 of the TAMS scheme with some farmers waiting since September 2015 for approval from the Department to commence work.

Extreme dissatisfaction regarding ongoing delays with issuing approvals under the TAMS has been expressed by the Chairperson of the ICMSA’s Farm and Rural Affairs Committee, Patrick Rohan.

Rohan said that farmer fury is growing daily as many had planned on commencing their works this week based on commitment givens by the Department at a recent Farmers Charter Meeting that approvals would begin the second week of May.

He said that the approvals have still not been received and the ‘work’ window’ allocated to complete these projects was now narrowing fast.

“It’s is totally unacceptable that farmers are still awaiting approval when many of the individuals concerned would have planned on having the work completed at this stage in advance of the busy silage period,” he said.

Sheep fencing and tillage

Meanwhile, IFA Rural Development Chairman, Joe Brady said that with EU approval imminent for the sheep fencing and tillage schemes, it is vitally important that these measures are put into the existing tranche of the scheme, which will finish at the end of June.

This is critical as it will allow sheep and tillage farmers entry into the TAMS scheme which has been denied to them in the first two tranches.

Brady said that it is important that there are no further problems with approvals under the TAMS scheme, which has an allocation of €395m in the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020. It is important that all of this funding is fully utilised to allow agriculture to make the necessary investment that plays a critical role in the viability of thousands of farmers.