High demand sees farmer grading for equipment scheme
Over 800 applications registered for multimillion-euro government project with many more expected
THE latest Dairy Equipment Scheme tranche looks set to be substantially over-subscribed and will result in farmers being graded for entry into the scheme.
Department of Agriculture officials have confirmed that more than 800 farmer applications were registered before the January 31 deadline, with more applications still in the registration pipeline.
This latest tranche, which opened for applications on December 20, has an allocation of €4.425 million.
The third tranche of funding, again amounting to €4.425m, is now open for applications, with a closing date of April 30, 2012.
With such high applications numbers for the latest tranche, Department of Agriculture officials will be implementing its marking system to grade farmers for priority entry to the scheme.
Under the marking scheme, farmers will be scored on a range of criteria from the applicant's age to the level of quota he/she holds.
The highest score on the marking system (150 marks) will go to a successful applicant under the New Entrant Scheme or "New/Recent Entrant" or "Son/Daughter Farming in Partnership with a Parent" categories of the milk-quota trading scheme.
A farmer who was allocated milk quota, under the milk-quota trading scheme, will receive 120 marks, while an applicant under 35 years of age will score 80 marks and an applicant with relevant training will score 60 marks.