AEOS start date delay 'unacceptable' says IFA
Around 9,000 farmers who applied to enter the Agri Environment Options Scheme (AEOS) will have to wait until September to find out if they have been approved.
Despite calls from farm organisations for AEOS payments to start immediately, it appears payment could now be delayed until October.
AEOS approval letters will not be issued until September, the Department of Agriculture has confirmed.
A Department official said full details of all applications were being logged on a new computer system designed specially to analyse and process AEOS applications.
Extra staff resources had been diverted to this work to get it done as quickly as possible, the official added.
Following some further administrative checks, including an area crosscheck with the Integrated Administrative Control System (IACS) database, successful applicants will be notified that they have been approved into the scheme and will be given a starting date for their contracts.
"At present, the Department is aiming to issue letters of approval during September," the official confirmed.
IFA environment chairman Tom Turley described the delay as completely unacceptable.