IFA Rural Development Chairman Flor McCarthy said it is vital that farmers who apply for the TAMS are given an early approval to proceed with their grant aid work. This is necessary to ensure farm investment is not held up while at the same time ensuring all EU funds allocated to the scheme are fully utilised.
Flor McCarthy said under the Dairy Equipment Scheme around 400 farmers are being approved under each tranche with the next tranche approval due to commence shortly for those farmers who applied by the end of July. It is clear now that when the end of October tranche closes all farmers can be accommodated for grant aid as the number of applicants has reduced.
The IFA Rural Development Chairman said that it is vitally important that the full €50m allocation for this scheme is used up to the end of 2013. Speedier approvals will ensure that this target can be achieved.
In relation to the Sheep Handling + Fencing Scheme, Flor McCarthy said that urgent changes are required as the uptake of the scheme is not on target. The €10,000 investment limit should be doubled to €20,000 and additional items should be added for grant aid eligibility such as weighing scales and an increase in the limits on individual items.
He concluded that €90m has been allocated to TAMS covering Dairy Equipment, Pig + Poultry welfare, Sheep Handling Fencing, Water Harvesting up to the end of 2013. The measures are 50% co-financed by the EU Rural Development Fund and with under 15 months to go before the schemes are closed it was important that Minister Coveney ensured full uptake.