2017 National Reserve to open this week despite 'scarce' funding
The Department of Agriculture is set to announce the opening of the 2017 National Reserve this week with interest among young farmers expected to be high.
Last month, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed announced a €5m allocation of funding for the 2017 National Reserve.
The news came following recent consultation between the Department and the Direct Payments Advisory Committee, comprising members of the main farming bodies and agricultural advisory and education providers, it has been decided that a linear cut to the value of all Basic Payment Scheme entitlements will provide funding of just over €5m to the National Reserve in 2017.
This amount is equivalent to the amount of unspent funds under the Young Farmers Scheme in 2015 which was added to the Basic Payment Scheme financial ceiling
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 receive an allocation of entitlements at National Average value or a top-up to the National Average value on entitlements that are below the national average.
Under the National Reserve in 2015, 6,260 farmers - of which 5,570 were young farmers - received an average payment of €9,000 in Basic Payment and Greening.
The National Reserve and the Young Farmers Scheme, together with the value of associated Greening payments, provided for an allocation of Pillar 1 payments in excess of €52m in 2015.