IFA Deputy President Eddie Downey said that the early re-opening of TAMS was vital to meeting farmers’ investment plans and Food Harvest 2020 sectoral targets.
Mr Downey was speaking following a meeting with the Department of Agriculture in Portlaoise today where representatives of the Poultry, Pigs, Dairy and Sheep sectors outlined the serious situation as a result of the suspension of the scheme. The gross investment on TAMS farms based on those who have applied to date is over €60m. This investment creates efficiencies on farms and generates economic activity both inside and outside the farm gate.
The IFA Deputy President said that in the case of Poultry + Pigs, both sectors have to meet stringent animal welfare targets by the end 2012 and 2013 respectively. The schemes will have to be reopened, and a relaxation of the date to complete the work, for farmers to avail of the grant aid to meet the animal welfare standards.
Mr. Downey said that in the case of the Dairy Equipment Scheme all 842 farmers who applied in the st and 2nd tranches up to the suspension date of June 8th last will be accommodated if eligible and will not be subject to selective criteria. It is now important that all of these farmers get immediate approval to proceed with their investment. The grant aid value for those who have applied is €9.6m which represents a gross investment on dairy farms of up to €25m.
On Sheep Fencing + Handling, all eligible farmers who applied will be approved. Approvals are now being issued to the first group of farmers who applied in the first tranche. Up to 20% of farms will have a pre-approval inspection and IFA called for all grant approvals to be made without delay.
IFA also got a commitment that all outstanding FIS approvals for grant will now be dealt with. These approvals had been held up due Department of Agriculture procedural issues and IFA is demanding that payments due are paid immediately.