Young Farmers Scheme payments to roll from tomorrow

Payments under the 2016 Young Farmers’ Scheme will commence tomorrow, December 1, the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, has confirmed.

Some 8,600 young farmers submitted applications under the scheme in 2016.

“The Young Farmers’ Scheme was introduced under the reformed regime of Direct Payments to encourage and facilitate the entrance of younger, well qualified persons into our farming industry.

“This payment is made in the crucial years following the young farmer establishing the holding and has the potential to play a major role in the regeneration of agriculture in Ireland and provide a solid basis for the industry in the coming years.”

Introduced in 2015, the Young Farmers’ Scheme is a measure to support young farmers under the reformed Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

Ireland has allocated 2% of the Basic Payment Scheme national ceiling to fund the Young Farmers Scheme each year from 2015 to 2019.

This is the highest percentage allowable under the relevant EU Regulations and provides funding of some €24m annually for the scheme, according to the Department.

A qualifying young farmer receives the payment under the scheme for a maximum period of five years dating from the year of setting up of the holding in his/her own name.

Many of the 8,170 young farmers who qualified under the 2015 scheme will receive their second Young Farmer Scheme payment in 2016.

Payment to successful applicants under the Young Farmers Scheme in 2016 is based on €68.54 per activated entitlement, subject to a maximum of 50 entitlements.

“The continued high level of uptake under the Young Farmers Scheme in both 2015 and 2016 is a very positive development in underpinning the future of Irish agriculture,” the Minister said.