Fine Gael Kildare South TD, Martin Heydon, has today (Friday) welcomed Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney’s success with the European Commission, in allowing ‘Old Young Farmers’ to qualify for young farmer supports.

“Old Young Farmers’ are a group of farmers under the age of 40 who did not qualify for significant young farmer supports under the new CAP reform, as they had been farming for more than the five years.

“I am delighted now that Minister Coveney has secured approval from the European Commission to allow ‘Old Young Farmers’ to be categorised as a group who suffer from a ‘specific disadvantage’. I know first-hand of the frustration of many affected young farmers who have contacted me. I am glad that this group, which had felt forgotten and neglected, will now be accommodated.

“The positive result is that these farmers are now eligible to apply under the National Reserve to receive new entitlements, or to receive a top-up on the value of existing entitlements, as applies to all other qualifying ‘young farmers’.

“This is a very welcome outcome and will address an anomaly in the system and allow a fair outcome for this particular category of young, active farmers.”