National Reserve will be open for applications in 2019

(stock photo)
(stock photo)
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, has today confirmed the National Reserve will be open for applications in 2019. 

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, Minister Creed has acted on recommendations arising from this consultation process to provide for applications to the National Reserve in 2019. 

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’. 

The funding for the National Reserve in 2019 will be met from natural replenishment of the fund without the requirement for a linear cut to the value of all Basic Payment Scheme entitlements. 

It is expected that the funding in place for the 2019 National Reserve will be in the region of €3 million, which based on the level of applications in recent years will be sufficient to meet the expected demand.

Minister Creed said “the National Reserve continues to be a vital resource for providing support to young farmers and new entrants to farming in the crucial years following establishment of the farm holding”.

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. 

Full details of the operation of the scheme, including Terms and Conditions, will be available when the scheme opens for online applications in early February 2019 to coincide with the opening of online Basic Payment Scheme applications. The closing date for receipt of applications under the scheme will be 15 May 2019.

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The 2019 Young Farmers Scheme will also open for online applications alongside the National Reserve and the Basic Payment Scheme in early February.  Funding of €24 million is available in 2019 for the Young Farmers Scheme.

While the detailed Terms and Conditions of the National Reserve and the Young Farmers Scheme for 2019 will be made available when the schemes launch for online applications in early February, it is expected that the terms and conditions will be consistent with those that applied in 2017 and 2018.

Definition of ‘Young Farmer’

To qualify as a ‘young farmer’ an applicant must meet the following conditions:

  • S/he is participating in the Basic Payment Scheme in the year s/he submits an application;
  • S/he is no more than 40 years of age during the calendar year in which s/he first submits an application under the Basic Payment Scheme;
  • S/he is setting up an agricultural holding for the first time or has set up such a holding during the five years preceding the first submission of the Basic Payment Scheme application.

Definition of ‘New Entrant to Farming’

A ‘new entrant to farming’ is defined as:

  • S/he is participating in the Basic Payment Scheme in the year s/he submits an application;
  • S/he must have commenced the present agricultural activity in the 2017 calendar year or any later year;
  • S/he did not have any agricultural activity in his/her own name and at his/her own risk in the five years preceding the start of the present agricultural activity.

Other eligibility criteria

In line with the requirements under National Reserve schemes since the introduction of the Single Payment Scheme in 2005, successful candidates will be required to meet an appropriate agricultural education qualification standard. 

Successful candidates will also be required to have a gross off-farm income of less than €40,000 in either of the 2017 or 2018 tax years.  There is no off-farm income limit for the Young Farmers Scheme.

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