TAMS tranche 18 application deadline extension ‘cannot hold up approvals’ – IFA

The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has said that the decision by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to extend the deadline for applications under tranche 18 of the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS) “cannot hold up approvals”.

The deadline has been extended by two weeks, with the development being confirmed by the department on its Twitter page earlier today, Tuesday, August 4.

The closing date for applications is now midnight on Friday, August 21.

“Farmers who want to proceed with work on their farms cannot face delays because the closing date has been pushed out,” Michael Biggins, IFA Rural Development Committee chairperson said.

‘There must be no delay in grant payments’

Biggins is also looking for clarity from the department about how many tranches will be opened before the end of 2020.

“[We] have made a strong case for the continuation of the scheme under EU CAP [Common Agricultural Policy] transitional arrangements for a further year or two, until the details of the next Rural Development Programme are available,” he said.

As part of its pre-budget submission, the IFA is looking for an allocation of €120 million for TAMS for 2021.

€82.5 million is available for the scheme this year, with over €30 million already paid out.

“There must be no delay in grant payments. The extra cost of bridging loans is a serious financial burden at a time when farm incomes are under pressure,” Biggins added.

Further calls for increased funding under TAMS

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Dara Calleary was recently called on to increase funding under the most recent tranche of TAMS, to reflect the fact that the application period was extended.

The last tranche was run for five months, which was an extension of two months on the typical length of a TAMS tranche. This extension was put in place due to the disruption caused by Covid-19.

As a result, there was a significant increase in the number of applications for that tranche, which closed on June 5.

The Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA) has said that an “appropriate increase” in the funding is required to take account of the two-month extension.