Details of TAMS for tillage to be announced in January
Responding to a parliamentary question from Fianna Fáil agricultural spokesperson Charlie McConalogue, the Minister for Agriculture said that the targeted modernisation scheme (TAMS) for the tillage sector will be announced in January next year.
McConalogue reminded Creed that tillage farmers have sought a crisis fund as a result of the poor weather during harvest this year.
“They have. I appreciate that. The beef industry has asked for compensation of €200m for suckler cows. There is no shortage of people asking for help. We have to be realistic about what the State can afford,” Creed said. “I appreciate the difficulties that are being faced in this sector. I do not believe the response to the myriad of issues being faced in the sector has been bad. While these are very challenging times for the tillage sector, I emphasise that we have implemented some measures.”
Creed said that tillage farmers will have access to the €150m low-interest loan fund when it opens next year.
“The chief executive of the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI), Nick Ashmore, gave an update on the scheme to the participants in a recent beef forum meeting,” Creed said. “He indicated that the corporation is operating to a January 2017 deadline.”
The Minister for Agriculture is apparently confident that the January 2017 deadline for the low-interest loan scheme can be achieved. In a response to Niamh Smyth in another parliamentary question earlier in the week, he said that he is “encouraging farmers to consider their cashflow and borrowings situation now, and if appropriate to their circumstances, to be prepared to apply for these loans when they become available.”
The Department’s funding of €25m includes €11m made available under the EU’s exceptional adjustment aid for milk and other livestock farmers and €14m in national funding. This provides leverage for the €150m scheme, which will support flexible loans for up to six years, for amounts up to €150,000, at an interest rate of 2.95%.