IFA Rural Development Chairman Flor McCarthy has said that the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney must immediately open the TAMS II scheme to support the investment plans of farmers.
Speaking following a meeting with the Department of Agriculture in Athlone this week, Flor McCarthy said the details of the scheme, which are now emerging, must be available to farmers without delay.
Flor McCarthy said that when the scheme opens, the priority for support in the initial stages will be for Young Farmers (farmers less than 40 years of age), dairy equipment, low emissions slurry equipment, specialised pig and poultry investment. At a later stage, grant aid will be available for all sectors for animal and nutrient storage, as well as for farm safety.
The grant aid for Young Farmers who are setting up for the first time will be 60% on an investment limit of €80,000. The general grant aid for other farmers will be 40% up to €80,000 investment limit. In partnerships, this can be doubled in the event of two partners and trebled in the case of three partners. The Young Farmer element of the partnership will qualify for the higher grant for the €80,000.
The IFA Rural Development Chairman said that the TAMS II has an allocation of €395m in the Rural Development Plan. It is important that the scheme opens immediately and additional items can be added to ensure a full uptake of this allocation. The tranche system of allocation of funding, which applied in TAMS I, needs to be more flexible, so as to allow more farmers into the scheme at the early stages following its opening. This will give farmers more time to complete their work and will ensure a full utilisation of funding.