The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D. today confirmed further flexibilities for the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS) in response to COVID-19 issues. These flexibilities are being introduced to make it easier for farmers and their agents to continue to participate in this important scheme where difficulties arise from the current public health restrictions in place.

The Minister commented, “It is essential that farming continues at this time while being mindful of the public health measures and it is important that we continue the TAMS scheme during this time. I have introduced some flexibilities to the scheme arrangements to reflect the fact that certain practices are not possible at this time and alternative arrangements are required.”

The flexibilities included are:

  • Flexibility on TAMS completion deadlines – all participants with TAMS II approvals or COVID-19 extensions expiring between 1 April and 30 June 2021 can apply to the local office for an additional three month extension.

Minister of State with responsibility for Farm Safety Martin Heydon T.D., also announced today the new measures being introduced to facilitate recommencement and submission of Farm Safety Code of Practice (COP) training certificates as part of the TAMS II payment claims.

Minister Heydon commented, “I am delighted to announce the availability online of the farm safety COP training. This training is important in the development of a culture of safety on our farms. The ability to now carry out the safety training online will keep everyone undertaking the course safe during the current public health restrictions while providing important safety training.”

The requirement to submit a farm safety COP training certificate as part of the TAMS II payment claim process was temporarily suspended in 2020 as it was not possible to safely hold ‘in person’ training courses. With the public health restrictions associated with Covid-19 lasting longer than expected and the need for farm safety training as important as ever, a revised method of providing the COP farm safety training has been developed. In relation to this development, the following measures are being introduced to facilitate recommencement and submission of farm safety COP training certificates as part of the TAMS II payment claims.

  • The requirement to submit a farm safety COP training certificate as part of the TAMS II payment claim will be mandatory from 26th April 2021 onwards.
  • Applicants who do not hold a valid training certificate (completed in the last five years), will have to attend an online farm safety COP training course.
  • All farm safety training courses completed after February 28th 2021 must be completed on-line to be acceptable.
  • Course providers have completed a refresher course and are ready to deliver the course on-line.
  • A review of procedures will be completed in June 2021, taking into consideration the public health restriction in place at the time.

The Minister today also confirmed the approval of funding for the highest 70% of applications for tranche 20. He added that the current tranche 21 of TAMS is open for receipt of applications and will close on 16 April 2021 with the next tranche opening on 17 April 2021. Further tranches in 2021 will open on 23 July 2021 and 5 November 2021.

Further details on the TAMS II measures are available at:
www.gov.ie/en/service/targeted-agriculture-modernisation-schemes/