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Funding and Schemes

Breeding and Related Supports

Details of funding supports availale through Horse Sport Ireland are available here

Agri-Environment Pilot Scheme 2021

D.A.F.M. is calling for expressions of interest in the new two year Results Based Agri-Environment Pilot scheme (REAP), launched April 21st 2021, with a closing date of May 10th 2021. 

It is expected that 1,500 -2,000 farms will be accepted into REAP after ranking and selection. Farms accepted will have the participating fields and boundaries scored, with their advisor, and these scores, coupled with certain actions if undertaken, will determine payment amount. The advisor will, for example, discuss if and where trees and hedges are to be planted.

Eligible farmers must:

  • engage the services of an agricultural advisor
  • be the holder of an active herd number (equine premises number);
  • have declared all land to be included in the pilot in your name on 2020 BPS application for 2020 and declare this land on the associated BPS application in 2021 and 2022
  • be over 18 years
  • not currently or previously in receipt of payment from Green Low-Carbon Agri-Environment Scheme (GLAS), Organic Scheme, or a European Innovation Partnership (EIP) project
  • be in a position to deliver the required works
  • participate in training

A minimum of 2ha and a maximum of 10ha (except for partnerships) can be included. Commonage land and land containing heather are not eligible.

The base payment for participation is €1,200 with additional payments based on relevant scores to a maximum payment of €6,900 in year one and €5,700 in year two. Extensive grassland can receive payments of €250-400/ha plus top up of €50/ha for late mown meadows. Multi-species swards can receive payments of €125-275/ha. Capital payments in year one are available at €9.20 /tree and €15.80/m of hedge to a maximum of €1,200 (130 trees and 76m of hedge)

The pilot will trial the results-based scoring and payment system with a view to identifying upscaling potential and feasibility for use of the model in the next Rural Development Programme under the CAP measures for Ireland from 2023 onwards.The pilot aims to cover a broad geographic spread including a wide range of farming enterprise types, rewarding farmers for maintaining and enhancing the sustainability of agricultural grasslands, field boundaries and margins. Contact your advisor if interested.

Further information available via Minister McConalogue's Press Release , on the DAFM REAP page and here 

Basic Payment Scheme

Under the Direct Payments system, eligible applicants receive a payment under the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) and Greening. It is a requirement that all BPS applications must be submitted online from 2018 onwards, so ensure if eligible for BPS that you are registered for online application.

Under the Direct Payment system a farmer’s payment can be a combination of payments under four separate schemes.

  • Basic Payment Scheme (BPS)
  • Payment for Agricultural Practices beneficial for the Climate and the Environment (Greening Payment)
  • Young Farmers Scheme (YFS)
  • Aid for Protein Crops

Read more

Cross Compliance

To receive a payment under the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) you must follow a variety of regulations on the environment, climate change, good agricultural condition of land, public, animal, plant health and animal welfare.  This system is known as Cross Compliance. More Information

Areas of natural constraint (ANC)

These are areas designated as disadvantaged.  Horse breeding enterprises and donkeys are considered for stocking density eligibility subject to conditions.

Application for ANC is through the Basic Payment Scheme. Read more

Targeted Agriculture Modernisation Schemes (TAMS II)

TAMS II is co-funded by the National Exchequer and the European Union under Ireland’s Rural Development Programme 2014–2020 (RDP).

There are a suite of seven measures for on-farm investments available under the TAMS scheme which has been opened for applications in rolling three month tranches.

Full details of the TAMS II measures are available on the Departments website at: Department of Agriculture Food and Marine

Equine Handling Stocks are the only equine specific item funded under this scheme.


The Green, Low-Carbon, Agri-Environment Scheme (GLAS) provides payments to farmers to help tackle climate change, preserve biodiversity, protect habitats and promote environmentally-friendly farming. Read more


LEADER Funding

LEADER is an EU funded programme to support activities to improve the quality of life in rural areas and to diversify the rural economy. The programme has been delivered in a number of different stages since 1991 and in its current incarnation as part of the Rural Development Programme it is delivered by a network of Local Development Companies throughout Ireland.

List of Local Development Companies and contact details are available here: Local Development Network Members 

LEADER exists as part of the Rural Development Programme and the supports on offer from Local Development Companies delivering the programme range from advice, training, mentoring and support to develop a business plan to the allocation of capital funding.

The LEADER programme for 2014-2020 identified a number of strategic priorities for EU rural development. LEADER is included under priority 6 of the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 (RDP): "promoting social inclusion, poverty reduction and economic development in rural areas." In Ireland, the overall LEADER budget is €250m (7% of the RDP). Transitional funding has been put in place for 2021-22. press release

The RDP outlines a series of themes that were identified as overarching needs in rural Ireland. To facilitate a more effective targeting of resources, these priorities were identified through consultation and research. LEADER has three RDP themes and nine sub-themes as follows:

Theme 1Theme 2Theme 3
Economic Development, Enterprise Development
and Job Creation
Social InclusionRural Environment
  • Rural Tourism
  • Enterprise Development
  • Rural Towns
  • Broadband
  • Basic Services targeted at hard to reach communities
  • Rural Youth
  • Protection and sustainable use of water resources
  • Local Biodiversity
  • Renewable energy

If you think you might have a suitable project idea do contact LEADER to discuss. 

Leader Funding - how to apply