2,996 apply for improvement scheme

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DAERA has revealed that 2,996 applications have been received from farmers and growers to Tranche 2 of Tier 1 of Farm Business Improvement Scheme–Capital (FBIS-C), which closed for applications on Friday 2 February 2018.

The vast majority (99.5 percent) of applications were submitted online.

All applicants were required to complete a farm safety risk assessment as part of their application. The Making it Safer risk assessment is a practical way of raising farmers’ awareness of health and safety on their premises. It highlights that it is good practice to do a regular review of how work is carried out and to put in place safer farm practices.

All the applications received are now being assessed against the scheme’s eligibility requirements. Eligible applications will be ranked according to the scheme’s selection criteria and Letters of Offer will be issued to the highest scoring applications, subject to confirmation of budget availability.

UFU deputy president, Ivor Ferguson commented: “Farmers are keen to develop their businesses and to invest in machinery and equipment that will help them improve efficiencies, animal welfare, health and safety, and deliver environmental benefits. Ultimately, this will have a positive knock-on effect for the wider rural economy. DAERA must now process the applications swiftly. With almost all applications made online, there is no reason for delay.

“The high demand for Tranche 2 is encouraging. We want to see DAERA moving ahead with Tranche 3 and opening it for applications as quickly as possible,” Mr Ferguson added.