Following a meeting with Minister Martin Heydon, IFA Horse Project Team Chairman Richard Kennedy, said that we must now see farmers who are actively involved in the breeding and rearing of horses included in farm investment support schemes under the new CAP from January 2023.
“We were pleased that Minister Heydon is supportive of the case that IFA have made to include the horse farming sector under the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS) in the future and we must see this support come to fruition and be available for farmers to apply for in early 2023.”
The horse sector is an integral farming activity throughout every country in rural Ireland and makes a contribution of €2 billion to our economy, but it remains one of the only agricultural sectors that has not been included in a meaningful way in the support measures that are available through the CAP funded on-farm investment grant schemes.
The IFA Horse Project Team members welcomed the opportunity to meet face-to-face with Minister Martin Heydon and he acknowledged that there was a very good business case put forward by the IFA for including farmers who have with horses, in TAMS under the new CAP regime which begins in January 2023.
The requirement for continual reinvestment on farms to improve safety measures and maintain the positive environmental and economic contribution that the equine sector makes, were all put forward to the Minister and acknowledged as good reasons for including the horse farmers in TAMS. The IFA delegation called on the Minister to ensure that horse farmers are no longer excluded from the Tams grant scheme.
Richard Kennedy said that it is important that this happens, as many farmers have been excluded from theses support measures to invest in their equine accommodation and handling facilities for many years. It needs to happen now to maintain standards, particularly safety standards.
“Reinvestment is essential if we are to see the next generation of farmers continue the tradition and contribution that horses make to the national agricultural output. Maintaining the grassroots farmer involved in breeding and rearing of horses is key to the continued success of our equine farming sector, a sector that is world renowned across the world as leaders in producing top class thoroughbred and sports horses.” Richard Kennedy said that Irish horse farmers want to maintain the highest standards, and continue to produce top quality stock. Including the sector in the TAMS investment scheme will allow this to happen.