Senator Maura Hopkins met with members of IFA on Tuesday last to discuss a wide range of issues including farm incomes, TAMS, new Sheep Scheme, nursing home support scheme national reserve for young farmers and access for farmers to low-cost credit.
The session led by IFA President Joe Healy, Macra na Feirme President and Roscommon native Sean Finan and Roscommon IFA Chairperson John Hanley.
On the issues raised at the meeting, Senator Hopkins stated that “It is very important that the pace at which approvals under TAMS II be increased. Farmers who wish to purchase Low Emission Slurry Spreading Equipment so that they can use it under the GLAS scheme and farmers anxious to get tanks and ground works in place before the winter are some of those eagerly awaiting approval”.
Senator Maura Hopkins has since raised the TAMS approval matter with Minister Creed. The Minister responded by saying “that every effort is being made by the Department to ensure that all eligible applicants receive their TAMS approvals as soon as possible. He also added that “the pace of approvals is increasing”.
“I have also highlighted to Minister Creed the large number of additional Tranche 3 applicants seeking approval from June 24th. Many of these farmers have been working on attaining planning permission over the past few months and all preparatory work is now completed to allow commencement of works as soon as approval is granted. I am satisfied Minister Creed, was able to confirm that the Information Technology system is almost ready to enable applicants in the TAMS II Schemes who have completed approved works to make a payment claim. This is very welcome news and will be a big help from a farmers cash flow point of view”.
On the proposal of the new €25 million Sheep Scheme, Senator Maura Hopkins said “I have encouraged Minister Creed to work hard on advancing this scheme. The constituency of Roscommon Galway has a very large number of sheep flocks and it very important this scheme opens without delay to support these farmers. Discussing the scheme with the Minister, I highlighted the need to keep bureaucracy to a minimum and the need to provide farmers with options if measures are implemented”.
Concluding, Senator Hopkins said “I am actively working on all the issues raised by members of the IFA. Developing and supporting measures and initiatives that help ease the income pressure being felt by farmers is a top priority for me. Farming is the lifeblood of rural Ireland and I will use my position to do all I can to help support farmers”.