The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., has today announced the opening of the online system for submission of applications to both the National Reserve and the Young Farmers Scheme in 2017.
Minister Creed said “The National Reserve and the Young Farmers Scheme are key measures in encouraging and facilitating the entrance of young, well educated persons into the farming sector”.
As previously announced by the Minister, just over €5 million has been provided in funding for the National Reserve in 2017 following a linear cut to the value of all Basic Payment Scheme entitlements. 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 governing 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 the National Reserve National Average value or a top-up to the national average value on entitlements that are below the national average. The National Reserve in 2017 will be targeted specifically at educated young farmers and new entrants to farming who fulfil specific objective criteria.
The Young Farmers Scheme is a separate scheme with just over €24 million in funding available each year from 2015 to 2019. The scheme provides an additional payment to successful applicants per activated entitlement.
Applications under the 2017 National Reserve and Young Farmers scheme must be submitted using the online facility available at http://agfood.ie/. The full Terms and Conditions of both schemes is available on the Department’s website at www.agriculture.gov.ie
The Minister concluded “the 2017 National Reserve and the Young Farmers Scheme offer an opportunity to build on the huge success in supporting the regeneration of agriculture in Ireland since 2015 which has seen well over 6,000 young farmers and new entrants benefit from Direct Payment measures to help underpin the agriculture sector in Ireland in the coming years.”