A PROPOSAL under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for 2023-2027 will see the main rate of grant aid remain at 40% through the new On-Farm Capital Investment Scheme which replaces the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS). There will however be certain items applicable to a higher grant aid funding level of 50%.

The scheme provides farmers with vital grant aid to improve and/or build a specific range of farm buildings or purchase equipment that may benefit their farm businesses. All well and good but currently the equine sector is neglected under the scheme and is only eligible to apply for horse stocks. The Equine Farming Taskforce has recently called for equality for the equine sector by submitting a comprehensive document to DAFM in which they include (amongst others) the following recommendations: “To make these requested equine facilities, fencing and equipment available as part of the current transitional funding.”

Until we see these requests fulfilled for the equine sector, equine farm infrastructure remains a costly experience. Two horse breeders who recently made the commitment to build have shared their costings with Horse Sense. See Table 1.

The Heritage Council, in partnership with the DAFM manages the GLAS traditional farm buildings grant scheme which is between €4,000 and €25,000.

The principal objective of this scheme is specific and is described to: “Ensure that traditional farm buildings and other related structures that contribute to the character of the landscape and are of significant heritage value, are conserved for active agricultural use.”

A GLAS grant award will not be for more than 75% of the cost of the works and the grant is available for the conservation of traditional farm outbuildings, including roof, walls, structural repairs, windows and doors.

With most infrastructure grants currently unavailable to equine farming families, it is hoped that with lobbying from inside the industry, 2023 could see a more fair distribution of grant aid.

Large-scale equine stock barn

120ft x 60ft

- Concrete base: €13,662.17

- Labour for base: €2,970.04

- Shed structure: €38,016.48

- Labour and concrete for walls €17,820.23

- Equine Feeding Barriers €11,880.15

- Water Drinkers €1,782.02

- Dividing pens €9,504.12

Total incl.VAT: €95,635.21

Small-scale winter shelter for 4-6 horses

26ft x 3.2ft with a 3.2ft overhang

- Roof, timber and gravel: €5,108.47

- Gates and hangers: €831.61

- Electric horse fencing: €594.01

Total incl. of labour and not incl. VAT: €6,534.09