Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, has announced the launch of a new scheme aimed at encouraging farm succession. The Succession Planning Advice Grant (SPAG) will provide financial support to farmers aged 60 and above who are seeking succession planning advice. The grant will cover up to half of the costs for legal, accounting, and advisory services, with a maximum payment of €1,500. The scheme aims to promote best practices in intergenerational land transfer and address generational imbalances within the farming sector.
The grant will be available to farmers aged 60 and above who are not currently in a succession farm partnership. They must have been farming a minimum of 3 hectares of land for at least two years prior to applying. The scheme will open on September 19, 2023, with application forms available at the National Ploughing Championships and on the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) website. Applications will be accepted until the end of 2023, and the first payment will be made in the first quarter of 2024. An online information webinar is scheduled for September 6, 2023, at 7:00 p.m.
Minister Charlie McConalogue expressed his support for the new scheme, acknowledging the demographic challenges faced by the agricultural sector. He stated, “This scheme will help older farmers plan for their future and the future of their farms by providing financial support for succession planning advice. It is crucial to assist farmers in making important decisions about the future of their farming enterprise. This scheme, along with existing supports for generational renewal, will contribute to the sustainability of the sector.”
The SPAG scheme is part of Ireland’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Strategic Plan, which includes various supports for generational renewal in the farming industry. These supports include significant agri-taxation benefits and strong support for young farmers and collaborative farming. The launch of the SPAG scheme demonstrates the government’s commitment to addressing the challenges faced by older farmers and ensuring the long-term viability of the agricultural sector in Ireland.