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The Minister of Agriculture, Food & the Marine, Simon Coveney has launched the first of the new Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Schemes (TAMS II), which is specifically aimed at young farmers.

The Scheme offers a superior grant rate of 60% to eligible young farmers.

Known as the Young Farmer Capital Investment Scheme, it will fund a range of eligible projects including animal housing, slurry storage, dairy equipment, specialised slurry spreading equipment and animal welfare and farm safety.

Farmers must be between 18 and 40 years of age at the time of application, have been set up in farming within the previous five years and hold a minimum education qualification.

The maximum amount available is capped at €80,000 per holding. The minimum amount of investment is €2,000 per application.

The TAMS Scheme is co-funded under the new Rural Development Programme (2014 – 2020) and is allocated a total budget of €395m. The Scheme for young farmers has an indicative budget of €120m.

Eligible investments may require planning permission and an engineer’s report in certain instances. Moreover, all structures must comply with specified construction standards and conditions. Interested farmers will also have to complete a farm safety training course.

All applications must be submitted on-line by the farmer or an authorised advisor via www.agfood.ie

The closing date for the first tranche of the new scheme is Friday, 28 August 2015.  Applications are expected to open shortly once the Department’s IT systems deals with a backlog of basic payment applications.

Finally, the Minister is expected to launch the remaining TAMS schemes over the coming weeks, including a specialised Dairy Equipment Scheme with a grant rate of 40%.  As a side note, 3,000 dairy farmers have yet to draw down their grant aid approved under the first TAMS scheme and have until the end of August in order to do so.