Farm Ireland

Tuesday 16 January 2018

Only half of all DES applications have been processed

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

Only half of the 842 dairy farmers who applied for funding under the Dairy Equipment Scheme (DES), before it was temporarily suspended in June, have been approved by the Department of Agriculture.

Official figures released by the Department show that 439 farmers have been approved for works under the DES so far.

The remaining files are still being processed, with officials likely to complete approvals in the next 2-3 weeks.

The processing procedure will include an on-farm inspection for a representative number of farms in order to ensure that work has not begun prior to approval.

The value, in grant terms, of the 842 applications received was around €9.6m, according to the Department. The average grant approved per application is €11,400.


Just five applications from the 842 received have been either withdrawn or rejected.

According to Department officials, the main reason for rejection of applications has been a breach of the maximum of 500 production units. This was one of the criteria set down in the conditions of the DES.

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While there is no breakdown of applications by quota size available, it is understood that farmers of all herd sizes are undertaking work through the DES.

The scheme was allocated a total budget of €45m over three years as part of the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme within the 2007-2013 rural development plan.

With a budget of €10m for this year and applications amounting to €9.6m, ICMSA deputy president John Comer said the Department could re-open the suspended scheme to ensure full uptake of the €10m fund.

However, Mr Comer said the most urgent issue for farmers was to get Department approvals issued as soon as possible so that farmers who wanted to complete works while cows were dried off could start immediately.

"It is essential that farmers can start and complete their work before cows start milking again in spring 2012," Mr Comer said.

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