Following a meeting with senior officials of the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine, the Chairperson of the ICMSA’s Farm and Rural Affairs Committee, Mr. Patrick Rohan, has stated that it is essential that applicants to the various TAMS II Schemes receive prompt approval of valid applications so that necessary works can commence as soon as possible on farms across the country.
Mr. Rohan stated that applications for the first Tranche of the Young Farmer Capital Investment Scheme closed over seven weeks ago and the first Tranche of the Dairy Equipment Scheme closed over three weeks ago. Mr. Rohan stated that ICMSA received confirmation that both Schemes are significantly oversubscribed meaning that as it stands, hundreds of farmers will be rejected and will have to wait for Tranche 2 for approval. Unfortunately for some farmers, waiting for tranche 2 is not an option and to accommodate all applicants, ICMSA believes that Minister Coveney should allocate additional funding to the first tranche to ensure the maximum numbers of farmers can be approved for immediate commencement of works. The reality for some farmers is that they need immediate approval for this work in order to have the required infrastructure in place for spring 2016 and if this doesn’t happen, it may mean that they would be forced to sell dairy stock and this would be a major blow to their future plans.
The Farm and Rural Affairs Chairperson went on to say that the Minister and his officials are fully aware that there is a very short window of opportunity for dairy farmers in particular to complete much of the necessary works over the winter period to ensure parlours are up and running for the busy spring period. In addition, there are significant time constraints in terms of completion of necessary storage, housing and safety works over this period. Following the meeting, Mr. Rohan said, that he was very concerned that approvals will not be issued on time and he called on the Minister to allocate additional resources to ensure that all farmers would be informed of their position before December.
Finally, Mr. Rohan said, that the Department had confirmed to ICMSA that the closing date for tranche 1 for the Animal Welfare, Safety and Nutrient Storage Scheme had been extended to 30 November 2015.
ENDS. 9 November 2015
Patrick Rohan is at (087) 6253506.