Macra calls for increased TAMS payment for young farmers

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Macra na Feirme is calling for an increase in the maximum rate of support for young farmers through the Targeted Agricultural Modernization Scheme (TAMS), due to record farm input costs.

The Young Farmers Association said tonight (Tuesday June 28) that the cost of inputs across the economy affects agricultural development projects.

Macra argues that this is particularly the case on farms run by young farmers.

“With the costs of many inputs such as steel and concrete, as well as technology having more than doubled in price, young farmers are struggling to develop infrastructure on their farms.

Macra chairman John Keane said: “It is also true that many farms are postponing developments due to rising costs, many of which will have more serious management implications next winter.”

According to Keane, the solution to the problem is a “significant” increase in the TAMS cap for young farmers.

“This will further support a cohort of farmers who are particularly vulnerable to the current input cost crisis,” Keane added.

Currently, aid can be paid to young farmers (aged 18 to 41 on the date of submission of the application) up to 60% of the cost of an investment, up to a limit of €80,000 per farm.

Applicants who receive approval to proceed with capital works through this grant cannot apply for any other TAMS support, except for Low Emission Slurry Spreading (LESS) equipment.

Keane also called for further review of benchmark costs for developments under TAMS, but at “an accelerated pace”.

According to the president of Macra, many construction contractors and suppliers only leave quotes valid for 24 hours because costs increase in the very short term.

“The Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine requires immediate work on increasing the threshold of young TAMS farmers,” Keane said.

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