The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has written to all Young Farmer Scheme applicants with advice on how to meet the scheme terms and conditions and avoid inspection penalties.
All applicants will receive the letter via their AgFood account.
A webinar is organised to coincide with this letter tomorrow (Tuesday, October 13th).
The Young Farmers Scheme (YFS) was introduced in 2015 as a top-up to the Basic Payment Scheme.
“It is accepted that the creation and development of a new farm business is financially challenging and this payment is intended as an income support to young farmers starting their agricultural activities to facilitate the initial establishment of the farm business.” a DAFM spokesperson said.
- No more than 40 years of age in the first year of application;
- Has attained a minimum level of agricultural education;
- In financial and managerial control of the holding.
The Young Farmer Scheme can be paid for a maximum of five years.
The detailed eligibility requirements are set out in the terms and conditions of the scheme which are available here.
Most common reason for penalties
There is a wide variety of arrangements and circumstances in place on farms when young farmers are starting off.
The Department has written to all scheme participants to highlight some of the key requirements that must be in place to be compliant with the financial and management control requirements of the scheme.
All scheme participants are urged to check that they comply with these key requirements in order to remain eligible for the scheme and avoid loss of payments.
The most common reasons for failing young farmer inspections are:
- Some of the farm business transactions are not going through the farm bank account – that is the account in the young farmer’s name;
- The one farm bank account is being used by the young farmer and another person who is farming separately. A joint account is acceptable as long as the other person named on the account is not farming separately;
- The young farmer cannot show when asked that s/he is actively involved in running the farm and has full knowledge of all the enterprises on the farm.