The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D. has announced that applications may now be formally submitted for Tranche 2 of the Agri-Climate Rural Environment Scheme (ACRES).

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Making the announcement, the Minister commented:

I am pleased that the ACRES system is now open for Tranche 2 applicants and ACRES advisors can, on behalf of their clients, formally submit applications.

While some advisors have already submitted Expressions of Interest and started preparing draft Farm Sustainability Plans (FSPs), theses can now be finalised and submitted with the final application, the important third and final step in this process.

 

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This application period remains open until 5.30 pm on Wednesday, 13th December 2023, for both ACRES General and ACRES Co-operation.

The Minister continued:

The Government has committed €1.5 billion to ACRES over the duration of the scheme to facilitate the participation of 50,000 farmers.

The funding I secured in last month’s Budget facilitates the opening of Tranche 2 of ACRES to bring the numbers in the Scheme up to that level, which is also in line with Ireland’s CAP Strategic Plan 2023-2027.

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The Minister also reminded participants and their advisors that the system for the submission of Non-Productive Investment (NPI’s) Annual Work Plans for ACRES Co-operation participants, which has been open since Thursday, 16th November 2023, will close for submission of applications at 5.30 p.m. on Wednesday, 6th December 2023.

The Minister noted:

Advisors have been able, since the end of October, to draft up the NPI Annual Work plans for their clients and I am now encouraging advisors to formally submit these plans in advance of the deadline.

NPIs are an invaluable way within the ACRES Co-operation approach for farmers to take specific measures to manage and enhance their holdings for the benefit of the overall landscape and environment.

While the implementation of the NPIs will, in time and collectively, benefit the environment, they also assist farmers in increasing the scores of their lands and, in turn, the level of their annual results-based payment.

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The Minister added that the Terms and Conditions for Tranche 2 of ACRES, along with the specifications for ACRES General, are published on the Department’s website at gov.ie/ACRES , and that farmers may get further information on the Scheme from their advisors, the Department, and, in the case of lands in the ACRES Co-operation areas, from the relevant ACRES Co-operation Project Team.

 

The Department also took the opportunity to remind ACRES Advisors that, as was the case with applications for entry into Tranche 1, all three steps in the application process for Tranche 2 have to be completed by the deadline of 5.30 pm on 13th December 2023 for the application to be considered as submitted – with the three steps being the submission of an Expression of Interest, the preparation of a Farm Sustainability Plan and, finally, the submission of the FSP and the actual application.

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