Payments to farmers under the National Reserve and the Young Farmers Scheme have started.

Over 3,000 farmers have been paid in the initial processing of payments under the Young Farmers Scheme while over 2,000 National Reserve applicants have been paid.

Payments under these schemes will continue in the final few days of December and into early January.

The Department of Agriculture previously confirmed that it received over 7,000 National Reserve and 8,500 Young Farmers Scheme applications.

The targeted date for payments under the Young Farmers Scheme was December 1, as agreed under the terms of the new Farmers Charter.

Earlier this year, the Department wrote to a large number of applicants about issues such as the registration of herd numbers, land parcel identification, entitlement registration, agricultural education and off-farm income details which, he said, needed to be addressed before payments could be issued.

Young Farmers Scheme

The Young Farmers Scheme was established to assist young farmers in setting up their farm business and the address the age profile of the sector.

The scheme includes a mandatory top-up on direct payments in the first years of farming.

In the CAP agreement in June 2013, a provision for up to 2% of funds in pillar one was made to provide a mandatory 25% top-up on the Single Farm Payment for new entrant farmers under the age of 40 for the first five years of installation.

Dairy Aid for Young Farmers

Meanwhile, young dairy farmers will receive €800 each as part of the EU dairy aid package agreed earlier this year.

The Government is co-financing this package and the Department will pay out some €25m of the dairy package this year.