Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Questions (572)

Dara Calleary


572. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if a young farmer with no qualification or single farm payment entitlement and who currently farms 39 hectares of land would have entitlements under the new system; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5318/14]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

To qualify for participation in the Young Farmers Scheme, a farmer must meet all of the criteria that go to define a ‘young farmer’ including having successfully completed a recognised course of education in agriculture giving rise to an award at FETAC level 6 or its equivalent. The same condition applies to the category of ‘new entrant’ under the National Reserve. As the status of ‘young farmer’ gives rise to significant benefits in terms of the allocation of entitlements from the National Reserve and in participation in the Young Farmers Scheme, the young person in question may wish to consider the option of pursuing such an educational qualification.

However if the person concerned is not eligible to be considered as a ‘young farmer’, he may be eligible for an allocation of entitlements if he never held entitlements under the current Single Payment Scheme, either owned or leased, but was actively farming in 2013. In this context ‘actively farming’ is defined as producing an agricultural product and such persons will be required to submit verifiable evidence of such production. The person concerned may wish to contact the newly established 2015 Direct Payments Information Centre at 0761 064438 or CAPdirectpayments@agriculture.gov.ie to discuss his circumstances in more detail.