Fermanagh South Tyrone Sinn Féin Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Lynch welcomes Young Farmers' Scheme update

Published: 10 November, 2014

Following an update from the European Commission regarding the Young Farmers' Scheme, Sinn Fein MLA Sean Lynch welcomes the scheme and believes it may increase the number of young people considering agriculture as a serious career choice.

In reply to a question submitted to the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Lynch said,

"I wrote to the Minster asking for an update on the European Commission's position regarding elements of the Young Farmers' Scheme that had yet to be finalized and I believe her response will impact positively on the farming community.

"A young farmer who is a member of an existing business and who moves to take control over that business and is, therefore, head of holding of a business for the first time, may be eligible for the Young Farmers' Scheme, provided all the other requirements of the scheme are met.

"All those who applied to the CAFRE Level II qualification have been notified outlining the possible sources of evidence the Department may require as proof of head of holding status. These sources include information about the applicant's VAT, income tax, banking, herd records, as well as buying, selling and investing activities in the business.

The Fermanagh/South Tyrone MLA continues,

"The EU Commission still has to confirm formally their position on a number of remaining issues, including clarification on how the number of years a person has been head of holding should be calculated, and, hence, the number of years their business can receive the Young Farmers' payment.

"Although this is good for the industry, good for rural communities and good for young people, I would urge the Commission to verify their position before long, to ensure optimal applications for the scheme." Ends/Críoch