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Active Farmer definition

Following a consultation and Tynwald approval (May 2015), the active farmer definition has now been agreed. 

Definition of Active farmer:

“active farmer” means a person who –

(a) undertakes an activity or activities listed in the definition of 'agriculture' in this Scheme; and

(b) is responsible for the decision making power, benefits and financial risks in relation to the agricultural activity in (a) above; and

(c) is in possession of records of agricultural type expenses and receipts on which they are the named recipient, and which are readily available for inspection by the department.

An active farmer is an individual, an equal or senior partner or an equal or major shareholder in a business, who has the decision making power, is responsible for the financial risks normally faced by a farming business and will be the beneficiary in relation to the agricultural activity undertaken on the land which comprises the application. They must have management control of the land. This can be determined by the applicant demonstrating they undertake financial transactions on behalf of the business; such activity should be evidenced by providing specimens of the following records as required.


To qualify automatically as an active farmer the applicant will be expected to meet one or both of the following eligibility requirements, as calculated from their census return:

  • Their declared stocking/cropping would generate a 520 standard hours labour requirement per annum (standard hours will be from a recognised, independent source and published on the DEFA website).


  • The declared livestock stock numbers would achieve a minimum stocking level of 0.45LU/BML acre on the relevant forage area as outlined in GC 02/13 Countryside Care Scheme - National Reserve Policy

However, where these criteria are not met, additional evidence of farm business activity may be requested by the department to demonstrate that the claimant would normally fulfil the ‘active farmer’ criteria.

The full Government Circular is available on the right.

The "active farmer definition" will be implemented from 01 April 2016.

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