Tipperary farmers urged to apply for €8bn Covid-19 fund
Tipperary farmers are being urged by Fianna Fáil MEP Billy Kelleher to apply for funding under the new €8bn EU fund to support farmers affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr Kelleher described it a a major win for rural communities in Ireland.
“Initially, it was announced that the total fund would be €7.5bn, but common sense has prevailed and it has increased to just over €8bn. The exact allocation for each member state is being calculated at present,” he said.
The Ireland South MEP said that, importantly, distribution of the fund will be front loaded in 2021, something the European Parliament demanded in its negotiations with the European Commission and the European Council.
“I firmly believe that the funds need to be distributed as soon as possible when the need is greatest.
Some of the broad criteria of the fund had also been announced with 37% being set aside for environment and climate related actions such as organic farming, and animal welfare and 55% for young farmers’ start-ups and on-farm investments that contribute to a resilient, sustainable and digital recovery, he revealed.
“Some technical amendments are now required to existing legislation to put this new fund into force but I fully expect these to be adopted by mid-December,” said Mr Kelleher.
He said that, at the same time, the European Commission will draft application processes and criteria, and guidance will be issued to the Irish Department of Agriculture that will allow for applications from farmers in early 2021.
“This is a much needed stimulus for farmers and rural communities in addition to CAP budgets,” he said. “I am delighted that significant progress has been made and that Tipperary farmers will be able to apply and secure funding in early 2021.”