From Declan Breathnach, TD 17th May 2016

996. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his views on the basic payment scheme for young farmers; if he will issue the payments due within a specific time period in order to facilitate these persons in organising their financial projections without delay; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9778/16]

From Minister Michael Creed Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

The Young Farmers Scheme is designed to encourage and facilitate the entrance of young, well educated persons into our farming community. This scheme provides a payment to eligible young farmers for a maximum period of five years from the year the young farmer sets up a holding in their own name. The Young Farmers Scheme payment is made on a maximum of 50 entitlements and is calculated as 25% of the national average payment per eligible hectare which gives a payment of approximately €68 per entitlement held by the young farmer. My Department received almost 9,000 applications under the Young Farmers’ Scheme in 2015. To date some 8,800 of these applications have been fully processed. In the case of outstanding applications, issues pertaining to registration of herd numbers, entitlement registration and agricultural educational qualifications need to be verified for applicants. My Department is engaged in ongoing correspondence with applicants requesting additional documentation where this is required to facilitate final processing of their applications. A number of applicants have yet to respond and these cases cannot be fully processed until replies are received. Once the relevant documents have been received the outstanding applications will be finalised, with a view to payment issuing as soon as possible thereafter.