Further flexibilities for the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS) have been confirmed by the Department of Agriculture in response to Covid-19 issues.
These flexibilities are being introduced to make it easier for farmers and their agents to continue to participate in this important scheme where difficulties arise from the current public health restrictions in place.
Three month extension
According to the department, there will be flexibility on TAMS completion deadlines – all participants with TAMS II approvals or Covid-19 extensions expiring between April 1, and June 30, 2021, can apply to the local office for an additional three-month extension.
Announcing the move today (Wednesday, March 31), Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue said:
It is essential that farming continues at this time while being mindful of the public health measures and it is important that we continue the TAMS scheme during this time.
“I have introduced some flexibilities to the scheme arrangements to reflect the fact that certain practices are not possible at this time and alternative arrangements are required.”
Farm Safety COP Training
Minister of State with responsibility for Farm Safety Martin Heydon also announced today the new measures being introduced to facilitate recommencement and submission of Farm Safety Code of Practice (COP) training certificates as part of the TAMS II payment claims.
Minister Heydon commented: “I am delighted to announce the availability online of the farm safety COP training.
This training is important in the development of a culture of safety on our farms.
“The ability to now carry out the safety training online will keep everyone undertaking the course safe during the current public health restrictions while providing important safety training.”
The requirement to submit a farm safety COP training certificate as part of the TAMS II payment claim process was temporarily suspended in 2020 as it was not possible to safely hold ‘in person’ training courses.
With the public health restrictions associated with Covid-19 lasting longer than expected and the need for farm safety training as important as ever, a revised method of providing the COP farm safety training has been developed.
In relation to this development, a number of measures are being introduced to facilitate recommencement and submission of farm safety COP training certificates as part of the TAMS II payment claims.
- The requirement to submit a farm safety COP training certificate as part of the TAMS II payment claim will be mandatory from April 26, 2021, onwards;
- Applicants who do not hold a valid training certificate (completed in the last five years), will have to attend an online farm safety COP training course;
- All farm safety training courses completed after February 28, 2021, must be completed online to be acceptable;
- Course providers have completed a refresher course and are ready to deliver the course online;
- A review of procedures will be completed in June 2021, taking into consideration the public health restrictions in place at the time.
The minister today also confirmed the approval of funding for the highest 70% of applications for tranche 20.
He added that the current tranche 21 of TAMS is open for receipt of applications and will close on April 16, 2021, with the next tranche opening on April 17, 2021.
Further tranches this year will open on July 23, 2021, and November 5, 2021, the department concluded.