IFA Rural Development Chairman Michael Biggins has called on the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed to issue approvals to farmers who applied for the 16th TAMS tranche which closed in early January. Many of these farmers have vital investments to carry out on their farms and need urgent approval from the Department of Agriculture to proceed.
Michael Biggins pointed out that for the last four tranches, only 80% of applicants have been approved. Unsuccessful applicants have been carried forward to subsequent tranches. The carryover of some 311 applications on three occasions means farmers are facing a very uncertain situation with regard to their investments.
IFA was told at the recent Charter of Rights meeting that 2,500 farmers applied in Tranche 16. Combined with a total carryover of 728 applications, 644 cases will be carried into Tranche 17 which closes in early April unless the Minister acts.
IFA is calling for this backlog to be sorted out now. Otherwise this whole process of carryover will continue until the end of Dec next when the scheme is due to close.
In relation to the overall spend on TAMS, Michael Biggins pointed out of the €395m allocation in the period 2014 – 2020, about €200m has been spent so far. This means that there is still €195m to spend between now and the end of 2021/early 2022. In most cases, farmers have to complete work 12 months after approval.
IFA will be arguing that under EU transitional rules, the TAMS will have to be extended beyond year end. The leftover funding would ensure a continuity of farm investment.