Skip to content
ICMSA Logo

Young Farmers

YOUNG FARMERS’ SCHEME

The Basic Payment — Young Farmers’ Scheme aims to assist young farmers in the early stages of setting up a farming enterprise in their own name by providing an increased Basic Payment.
 
Grant Aid:
The Young Farmers Scheme payment will be calculated as 25pc of the national average payment per hectare (based on the national ceiling) multiplied by the number of entitlements activated by the successful applicant, subject to the maximum number of 50 activated entitlements whether individual, group or company.
 
A successful applicant will receive payment under the Young Farmers Scheme for a maximum period of five years. The five years are dated from the year of setting up of the holding. In the past it has been worth €64/ha to successful applicants.

Eligible Applicants

To be eligible for participation in the Young Farmers’ Scheme an applicant must meet the following conditions:
 
(i) She/he is participating in the Basic Payment Scheme in the year in which she/he submits an application;
(ii) She/he is aged no more than 40 years of age at any time during the calendar year in which she/he first submits an application under the Basic Payment Scheme;
(iii) She/he has successfully completed a recognised course of education in agriculture giving rise to an award at FETAC level 6 or its equivalent.
(iv) She/he is setting up an agricultural holding for the first time or has set up such a holding during the five years preceding the first submission of the Basic Payment Scheme application.
Where a young farmer undertakes the farming activity as part of a group (e.g. in a joint herd number, a partnership or a company), the group will be considered eligible for the Young Farmers’ Scheme if the following conditions are met:
 
At least one person in the group must meet the definition of young farmer as outlined above;
At least one person in the group must meet the definition of young farmer as outlined above;
 
That young farmer must exercise effective and long-term control either solely or jointly within the group in terms of decisions related to the management, benefits and financial risks of the group. Such control is demonstrated as follows;
 
(i) The young farmer’s name is on the herd number;
(ii) The young farmer’s name is on the bank account used for the purposes of the farming activity;
(iii) Companies Only — the young farmer must be a director and minimum 20pc shareholder in the company;
 
All persons who participate in the group must complete a National Reserve/Young Farmers’ Scheme Declaration form confirming that the young farmer has effective control, either solely or jointly with the other members of the group. This declaration form is available with the scheme application form and on the Departments website.
 
A successful applicant to the Young Farmers’ Scheme in 2018, who is eligible to continue participation in this scheme in 2018, should ensure she/he ticks the appropriate box on the 2019 BPS application form.
First time applicants under the Young Farmers’ Scheme in 2019 must use the separate online application facility on agfood.ie
 
Applications under the Young Farmers Scheme must be submitted on or before May 15, 2019.

NATIONAL RESERVE

The EU Regulations underpinning the operation of the National Reserve provide for priority access to the mandatory categories of ‘Young Farmer’ and ‘New Entrant to Farming’.
 
Successful applicants to the National Reserve will receive an allocation of entitlements at the National Average value of the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) or a top-up to the BPS National Average where the applicant’s entitlements are below this level. The National Average is approximately €185 per hectare (€260/ha including Greening).
 
The scheme will be targeted specifically at educated young farmers and new entrants to farming who fulfil specific objective criteria.
 
Who will qualify
 
To qualify as a ‘young farmer’ an applicant must meet the following conditions:
 
· S/he is participating in the Basic Payment Scheme in the year s/he submits an application;
· S/he is no more than 40 years of age during the calendar year in which s/he submits an application under the Basic Payment Scheme;
· S/he is setting up an agricultural holding for the first time or has set up such a holding during the five years preceding the first submission of the Basic Payment Scheme application;
· S/he has successfully completed a recognised course of education in agriculture giving rise to an award at FETAC level 6 or its equivalent.
 
Or
 
To qualify as a ‘New Entrant to Farming’ an applicant must meet the following conditions:
 
· S/he is participating in the Basic Payment Scheme in the year s/he submits an application;
· S/he must have commenced the present agricultural activity in the 2015 calendar year or any later year;
· S/he did not have any agricultural activity in his/her own name and at his/her own risk in the five years preceding the start of the present agricultural activity;
· S/he must submit an application for the Basic Payment Scheme not later than two years after the calendar year in which s/he completed the agricultural activity;
· S/he successfully completed a recognised course of education in agriculture giving rise to an award at FETAC level 6 or its equivalent;
· Other criteria such as off-farm income of less than €40,000 in either of the 2017 or 2016 tax years will also apply.
 
Full details are available here