IFA Rural Development Chairman, Flor McCarthy, has urged that all farmers who applied for the TAMS up to the most recent tranche closure are given approval to proceed with investment work without delay.
Flor McCarthy said with applications under both the Dairy Equipment Scheme and the Sheep Fencing and Handling Scheme now falling under the number of places available all farmers who have applied must now get approval to proceed to carry out necessary on-farm investment under both schemes.
In the case of the Dairy Equipment Scheme at the close of the last tranche at end October, the number of farmers who have applied was 175. This brings the total who have applied since the scheme was reopened last December to 1,705. 435 farmers are being selected per tranche and all farmers who applied can now become eligible for the scheme if the approvals are now issued. €4.925m is available for grant aid under each tranche.
Flor McCarthy said that in relation to the Sheep Fencing + Handling, so far €2.1m is available in the first 3 tranches but applications for grant aid equates to about €1m. It is clear that this scheme needs to be revamped with a doubling of the investment ceiling from €10,000 to €20,000 and increasing the eligible items for grant aid.
Concluding, Flor McCarthy advised farmers who have already got approval to proceed with work and have completed the investment to send back their paperwork to the Department of Agriculture so that grant payments can be made. With around €21m available for all grant aid schemes in 2012 around €6m is still unspent in the Department of Agriculture capital budget for spending between now and the end of year.