Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, has announced that 84 new entrants to dairying have been allocated milk quota under the 2011 New Entrants Scheme.
Of this total, 53 ‘brand new’ entrants, who had not previously held quota, will each receive allocations of 200,000 litres. The remaining 31 successful applicants, who had previously purchased quota as either new entrants or successors under the Milk Quota Trading Scheme, will receive allocations totalling a further 4.3 million litres.
The Minister said: “At a time of great challenges but also of great opportunities for the dairy sector, it is heartening to see the tremendous interest in dairy farming as a future career. I am delighted to be able to support, in such a practical way, the efforts being made by so many to embark on such a career. New entrants are vital to the future of the dairy sector, and it is immensely encouraging to see not only a high level of interest in the Scheme, but also the impressively high calibre of the applicants. There is no doubt that this augurs well for the future of the sector.”
Summarising the outcome of the Scheme, the Minister explained that a total of 263 applications under three categories (203 ‘brand new’ entrants, 48 ‘Trading Scheme’ and 12 ‘Successor’ applicants) was received by the closing date of 8 April. 218 eligible applications were considered by the independent assessment group, chaired by Mr. John Tyrrell, former Director General of ICOS, and 84 were selected for quota allocations. All recipients have until 1 April 2013 to commence milk production, and all will be required to attend training courses facilitated by Teagasc and to provide financial statements on an annual basis to the Department.
The Minister also took the opportunity to confirm that a New Entrants Scheme will accompany each of the two remaining milk quota increases under the Health Check agreement. These are due to come into effect on 1 April 2012 and 1 April 2013. “Given the high level of interest, I think it is important that there is clarity in relation to the future of the New Entrants Scheme. In its Road Map for the implementation of Food Harvest 2020 in the dairy sector, the Dairy Expansion Activation Group was unequivocal on this point, and I am delighted to be in a position to follow that up by confirming that a New Entrants Scheme will take place in each of 2012 and 2013. Details will be announced early each year, and I look forward to further cohorts of new entrants taking on the challenge of a fulfilling career in dairying”.
The Minister concluded by thanking all of those who participated in this year’s Scheme, and wished all of the successful applicants well in their future endeavours.