The Department of Agriculture will allow the interview section of the young farmer scheme (YFS) inspection to be carried out over the phone instead of in person.
Macra na Ferime president Thomas Duffy welcomed the Department’s decision, saying young farmers can complete TAMS inspection interviews over the phone also.
Any documentation required by the Department can be posted in.
The interview is a key part of the inspection process to determine if the young farmer has managerial and financial control of the business. It can often last several hours and usually occurs around the kitchen table in the farmhouse.
Duffy said: “This is a much-needed relief to young farmers who have applied. It avoids unnecessary contact with inspectors while still ensuring the schemes can be continued. This is the right decision by the Department of Agriculture.”
Arrangements have also been made through Teagasc to accommodate young farmers who cannot complete their educational requirements for the YFS or TAMS due to college closures.
“Anything that alleviates stress on young farmers is definitely welcome. They have enough challenges right now during this crisis,” said Macra agricultural affairs chair John Keane.
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