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Minister Coughlan announces the Launch of a New Young Farmers' Installation Scheme and a New Scheme of Early Retirement from Farming

The Minister for Agriculture and Food, Mary Coughlan T.D., today announced the launch of a new Young Farmers' Installation Scheme and a new Scheme of Early Retirement from Farming.

The Minister said she was pleased to announce the new Early Retirement Scheme under which a maximum pension of €15,000 a year for up to 10 years would be paid to retiring farmers. The new Scheme will be open to retiring farmers aged between 55 and 66 years of age. Pension payments will be based on land area and will be more beneficial to smaller farmers than previous Schemes. Farmers involved in intensive enterprises will be eligible for the Early Retirement Scheme for the first time.

Under the new Scheme there will be three categories of Transferee -

  • young farmers qualifying for the new Young Farmers Installation Scheme who will not have to enlarge the retired farmer's holding;
  • transferees aged up to 45, who will be required to have at least 5 hectares of enlargement land and meet the education and other requirements of the Scheme;
  • transferees between the ages of 45 and 50 who qualified as transferees under one of the previous two Schemes of Early Retirement, who will also be required to have at least 5 hectares of enlargement land and meet the education and other requirements of the Scheme.

The Minister said that she was pleased to be also announcing the launch of the new Young Farmers' Installation Scheme, under which a grant of €15,000 will be available to young farmers deemed to be set-up in farming with effect from 1 January 2007 and who meet the property, education and other requirements of the Scheme. The new grant represents an increase of over 57% compared to that available under the previous Scheme.

The Minister also announced that she was making available this higher level of grant to farmers set-up in farming between 1 May 2006 and 31 December 2006 under the previous Installation Aid Scheme, provided the applicant complies with the requirements of that Scheme and -

(a) confirms in writing that he/she is applying for the higher rate of grant (€15,000);

(b) submits a fully completed Business Plan in the format provided for under the Young Farmers' Installation Scheme; and

(c) provides evidence of compliance with two of the development options chosen by the applicant within two years of the date of set-up.

13 June, 2007

Date Released: 13 June 2007