THE application period for Tranche 3 of the Farm Modernisation programme ends on Friday of this week. For those farmers who have not yet submitted their application, the obvious advice is to do so immediately – and to use the on-line submission option.
This approach is straightforward and it also counts for additional scoring points under the eligibility rules. For those farmers who do not have direct access to the internet, three options are available: ask a friend, who has an internet facility, to help you out; call in at your nearest DARD office or pay a visit to your local library, all of which offer computer facilities with a connection to the world wide web.
Farm Minister Michelle O’Neill has managed to secure additional money for Tranche 3 of the Farm Modernisation Programme. It is important, therefore, that all of this funding is utilised by local farmers, as the popularity of the current scheme may well be used as a marker to gauge the merit, or otherwise, of pushing ahead with similar initiatives in the future.
The Farm Modernisation Programme is one of the very few rural development measures that has a direct bearing on production agriculture. So it’s important that schemes of this nature can be seen to be justified in the future. That’s why a positive uptake of the Tranche 3 funding that is currently available is so important.
I know that farmers are under a lot of financial pressure sat the present time. However, agriculture is a long term business – a message that has not been lost on the banks and other providers of financial services. So for those farming businesses that are inherently profitable I have no doubt that ways can be found to make an investment under Tranche 3 a feasible option.
It also goes without saying that Countryside Services must get letters of offer out to farmers as quickly as possible and to have all the required processing of the grant submissions that follow completed in short order. In this way the stress on farm cash flows will be minimised.