To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the consideration that is being given to farmers who are below the age of 40, not considered new entrants due to the time that they took over their holding, however narrowly missed out in the past on installation aid; if some measures could be extended to this small group of farmers who have missed out on the supports that most new entrants have or will receive; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Martin Heydon.

For WRITTEN answer on Wednesday, 2nd April, 2014.

Ref No: 15634/14 Proof: 225


The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine: (Simon Coveney)

The consultation paper prepared by my Department in relation to the proposed measures for inclusion in Ireland’s Rural Development programme for 2014-2020 includes a commitment to the introduction of an enhanced grant scheme for young farmers who invest in farm infrastructure with a specific grant rate of 60 per cent compared to the standard grant rate of 40 per cent which will be generally available under other on-farm investment schemes.

Within the limits of the EU provisions governing the new Rural Development Programme, I will be endeavouring to ensure that as many young farmers as possible can avail of the enhanced grant scheme when the national measures are introduced following receipt of the required EU Commission approval for the Programme. Where young farmers do not meet the conditions laid down in the governing EU provisions for the enhanced grant scheme, they will be eligible to apply for grants at a standard rate under other on-farm investment schemes which are made available under the new Programme.