Dáil Éireann - Volume 412 - 13 November, 1991

Written Answers. - Farm Installation Grant Numbers.

26. Mr. Bradford asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the number of farm installation grants paid in (1) 1988, (2) 1989 and (3) 1990; his views on whether the scheme, as currently operated, results in many deserving young farmers being refused sanction of this grant; and if, in view of the continuing decline in the numbers entering farming, he will seek a change in the rules of the scheme to extend eligibility.

Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mr. O'Kennedy): There were 465, 537 and 496 farm installation grants paid in 1988, 1989 and 1990 respectively.

While the response to the scheme over the past three years has been satisfactory I accept that some of the conditions were rather restrictive. It was for this reason that I had the scheme revised recently.

In future a young farmer taking up full-time farming for the first time will have up to two years to achieve the minimum labour requirement. The same arrangement will apply in the case of the parttimer setting up on a full-time basis. In [1380] addition land held under a long term lease may be taken into account in calculating the labour input of the farm enterprise.

The new conditions apply to all applications received on or after 1 January 1990.