IFA Rural Development Chairman Joe Brady has described the delay by the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed to approve all applications for tranche 13 of the TAMS scheme, as totally unacceptable. Applications for tranche 13 closed in early April.
Joe Brady said that twenty per cent of farmers who applied were told that they have failed the selection criteria and are being pushed into the next tranche of the scheme, which will close on July 5th.
Many of the farmers who applied are anxious to proceed with work, particularly as the weather is ideal for construction and works can be completed well in advance of next winter.
The IFA Rural Development Chairman said that many of the applications are for feed bins for drystock farmers, which were first introduced for that sector earlier this year. In addition, farmers have applied to invest in dairy units, farm safety measures, slurry storage, tillage equipment and low-emission slurry equipment.
“There has been pent-up demand for investment and the Minister’s decision not to approve around 650 farmers at this stage is a major disappointment,” he said.
Joe Brady pointed out that in the 2014 – 2020 RDP €395m has been provided for TAMS. Of this, €138m has been paid out to 9,400 farmers. This means that with just 18 months to go in the current RDP only 33% of funds have been spent.
“Not granting all approvals is totally unacceptable. At the rate of expenditure to date, the full allocation will not be used. It is up to Minister Creed to get additional resources into the system so that this situation is not repeated over the next five tranches of the scheme, which is due to close for applications in December 2020,” he said.