Applications for young farmers' top-up payment up 5% in 2016
Applications to the Young Farmers Scheme are up 5pc this year compared to 2016, according to the latest figures from the Department of Agriculture.
The Young Farmers Scheme was introduced in 2015 as a measure to support young farmers under the reformed Common Agricultural Policy.
Ireland has allocated 2pc of the national ceiling to the Scheme each year from 2015 to 2019.
The Department of Agriculture says payments under the 2016 Young Farmers Scheme are due to issue after payment of the Basic Payment Scheme balancing payment on December 1, 2016.
In 2015 there were 8,170 successful applicants under the Young Farmers Scheme. For 2016, the Department has received some 8,600 applications for funding under the scheme and it says processing of these applications is currently being finalised.
2017 National Reserve?
The Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has said that decisions in relation to the National Reserve for 2017 will be considered once the position on potential funding has been established.
In 2015 the National Reserve fund was based on a 3pc cut to the Basic Payment Scheme financial ceiling and provided some €24.7m in funding which was the maximum financing rate available under the relevant EU Regulations.
The Minister says the EU regulations governing the National Reserve provides that priority under the National Reserve must be given to ‘young farmers’ and to ‘new entrants to farming’.