The online system for submission of applications to both the National Reserve and the Young Farmers Scheme in 2018 is now open.
Making the announcement, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, said: “The National Reserve and the Young Farmers Scheme are key support measures in encouraging and facilitating generational renewal through the entrance of young, well educated persons into the farming sector.”
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. It is expected that the fund for 2018 will be in the region of €3.5m, according to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM). The National Reserve in 2018 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 €24m in funding available each year from 2015 to 2019. The scheme provides an additional payment to successful applicants per activated entitlement.
Applications under the 2018 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 2018 National Reserve and the Young Farmers Scheme build on the very real success in supporting the regeneration of agriculture in Ireland since 2015 which has seen over 7,000 young farmers and new entrants benefit from Direct Payment measures to help underpin the agriculture sector in Ireland in the coming years,” Minister Creed said.
Macra na Feirme welcomes announcement
Macra na Feirme has welcomed the announcement that the National Reserve for 2018 is now open. Macra national president, James Healy, said: "Macra na Feirme is pleased that the National Reserve is available for 2018. This will greatly aid our young farmers and will support generational renewal."
Macra said it had recently met with officials from theDAFM regarding the opening of the 2018 National Reserve, which it says is an essential mechanism to allow young farmers who have no or low Basic Payments to get a fair start in farming. The ongoing provision of a BPS National Reserve in the Common Agricultural Policy is an essential tool in supporting young farmers starting up in farming, Macra said.
"Young farmer schemes such as the National Reserve ensure farming remains a viable career path for our youth and the continuation of it is very positive for young farmers," Mr Healy said.