The National Reserve will open in February, with an expected budget of €3m.

It gives priority access to the mandatory categories of ‘young farmer’ and ‘new entrant to farming’ in order to help them become established in farming.

The funding for the National Reserve in 2020 will be met from natural replenishment of the fund without the requirement for a linear cut to the value of all Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) entitlements.

Successful applicants to the National Reserve receive an allocation of entitlements at national average value or a top-up to the national average value on entitlements that are below the national average. In 2019, the average entitlement value for a farm in Ireland was €254.


You must be a young trained farmer in order to access the National Reserve.

Successful candidates will also be required to have a gross off-farm income of less than €40,000 in either of the 2018 or 2019 tax years.

To qualify as a ‘young farmer’, an applicant must meet the following conditions set down by the Department:

  • She/he is participating in the BPS in the year she/he submits an application.
  • She/he is no more than 40 years of age during the calendar year in which she/he first submits an application under the BPS.
  • She/he is setting up an agricultural holding for the first time or has set up such a holding during the five years preceding the first submission of the BPS application.
  • The Department of Agriculture defines a ‘new entrant to farming’ as:

  • A person participating in the BPS in the year she/he submits an application.
  • A person must have commenced the present agricultural activity in the 2018 calendar year or any later year.
  • A person did not have any agricultural activity in his/her own name and at his/her own risk in the five years preceding the start of the present agricultural activity.
  • The terms and conditions of the scheme will be available soon from the Department.

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