Six thousand apply but just 300 approved to date on farm safety scheme
Thousands of farmers are in a race against time to qualify for €12.2m in Farm Safety Scheme.
The Department of Agriculture this week admitted that just 300 applicants had so far been fully approved for the TAMS measure although the scheme opened in October.
The 300 approvals represent just 5pc of the 6,299 farmers who have applied for the scheme.
The package offers 40pc grant aid for works which improve farmyard safety.
However, to comply with the scheme's guidelines, applicants must have all work completed and the relevant documentation and receipts submitted to the Department by Monday, August 31. This means that thousands of farmers have just six months to complete the relevant work by the end-of-August deadline.
A Department official said staff were working through applications and that more than 4,120 had been processed to date. He added that issues relating to a further 1,100 applications were being clarified. However, he accepted that just 300 letters of approval had been sent to farmers so far.
This scheme, which has generated a huge level of interest, will grant aid such work as the fitting of safety rails to walls of silage pits, the fencing of external slurry pits, retrofitting of clear roof sheeting with safety cages and the wiring and rewiring of existing farm buildings.