Nearly €900m to incentivise 2014-2020 farming methods and investments

Beef and sheep farmers led by IFA Deputy President Tim O Leary protested on Tuesday at Tesco, SuperValu and Dunnes Stores in Galway, accusing retailers and processors of profiteering from excessive beef and lamb price cuts to farmers.

It is proposed to increase to €395m the 2014-20 funding for TAMS II grants for on-farm capital investment, intended to include beef and sheep handling and weighing equipment, dairy equipment, low emission slurry spreading, and organic capital investment, to be subsequently expanded to cover farm nutrient storage and animal housing.

Pig and poultry investments in energy, water meters and medicine dispensers would be prioritised, along with slurry storage on tillage farms.

An investment ceiling of €80,000 and general grant aid rate of 40% will apply, with 60% for young farmers.

The BioEnergy Scheme to support willow and miscanthus production is proposed with funding of €12m.

A significantly increased €44m is being proposed for the 2014-20 Organic Farming Scheme, with all rates of payment increased (€220/ha for standard conversion and standard maintenance €170/ha; €300 (conversion) and €200 (maintenance) for horticulture, €260 (conversion) and €170 (maintenance) for tillage. A top-up of €30/ha for red clover is included.

The horticultural rate will apply to the first six hectares only; thereafter the standard rate applies.

For tillage farmers, the higher rate ceiling is 20 ha.

Funding of €295m is proposed for the 2014-20 Beef Data and Genomics Programme.

The range of actions to be undertaken by farmers provides the basis for a payment of €80 per animal.

Support for knowledge transfer groups has been allocated €112m in the latest 2014-20 rural development proposals.

This will include beef, sheep, dairy, equine, poultry and tillage sector discussion groups. Farmers in these groups would get about €750 per annum. Funds are proposed also for continuous professional development for advisors, and targeted animal health and welfare advice.


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