ICSA rejects Department assurance on payments
Fears grow that digitisation of 60,000 maps will hit SFP cash
The ICSA has flatly rejected a Department of Agriculture assertion that payments to thousands of farmers had not been disrupted by delays in the digitising of land parcel maps.
ICSA president Gabriel Gilmartin claimed that up to 20,000 farmers were at risk of not getting the full 50pc single farm payment (SFP) advance this week.
It is understood that more than 60,000 maps have still to be digitised, with close to 34,000 farmers affected.
The Department insisted that the digitising process had not held up payment of the 75pc advance in disadvantaged area scheme (DAS) payments, which started on September 22.
Officials also discounted claims that delivery of more than €500m in SFP advances and DAS top-up payments would be disrupted.
A Department spokesperson pointed out that more than €131m has been paid out under the DAS to more than 84,300 farmers and just 14,000 advance payments had yet to be made.
"Approximately 9,300 have area-aid-type errors, including over-claims, dual-claims or are deceased," the Department said.
"The remainder do not yet meet the minimum stocking density requirement of 0.15 livestock units per hectare," the statement added. Department officials also insisted that payments of the 50pc advance in the SFP, which started yesterday, would not be affected by the digitising of maps.