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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Funding for the National Reserve in 2021

Funding has been allocated for the National Reserve in 2021, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, has confirmed.

He has welcomed the recommendation made by the Direct Payments Advisory Committee regarding the continuation in 2021.

The news comes following consultation between the Department and the Direct Payments Advisory Committee, comprising members of main farming bodies and agricultural advisory services.

The EU Regulations, underpinning the operation of the National Reserve, provide for priority access to the mandatory categories of ‘Young Farmer’ and ‘New Entrant to Farming’.

Successful applicants to the National Reserve receive an allocation of entitlements at National Average value or a top-up to the National Average value on entitlements that are below the national average.

Speaking following the agreement of the Direct Payments Advisory Committee, Minister McConalogue said, “I welcome the agreement reached by the group in terms of funding for the National Reserve.”

“The securing of the National Reserve for 2021 is a very important step in supporting the most productive and ambitious farmers in the country.”

“Giving priority access to Young Farmers and New Entrants ensures that we are continuing to support and encourage generational renewal in our sector.”

Opening and close dates

Full details of the operation of the scheme, including terms and conditions, will be available when the scheme opens for online applications in February 2021.

The closing date for receipt of applications under the scheme will be May 17th, 2021.

While the detailed Terms and Conditions of the National Reserve for 2021 will be made available when the schemes launch for online applications in February, it is expected that the terms and conditions will be consistent with those that applied in recent years.

Definition of ‘Young Farmer’

To qualify as a ‘young farmer’ an applicant must meet the following conditions:

  • Participating in the Basic Payment Scheme in the year s/he submits an application;
  • Is no more than 40 years of age during the calendar year in which s/he first submits an application under the Basic Payment Scheme;
  • Is setting up an agricultural holding for the first time or has set up such a holding during the five years preceding the first submission of the Basic Payment Scheme application.
Definition of ‘New Entrant to Farming’

A ‘new entrant to farming’ is defined as:

  • Participating in the Basic Payment Scheme in the year s/he submits an application;
  • Must have commenced the present agricultural activity in the 2019 calendar year or any later year;
  • Did not have any agricultural activity in his/her own name and at his/her own risk in the five years preceding the start of the present agricultural activity.

For more information, see the department’s website here.

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