In Brief: Dairy kit grant fears Payments progress
Fears are growing among farmers that a promised dairy equipment scheme will be another victim of the swingeing cuts planned in the up-coming budget.
This comes on the back of a statement from the Department of Agriculture that the start of the scheme hangs on the "outcome of the estimates process".
This reluctance to even confirm the existence, let alone a start date, has fuelled concerns that the scheme may never see the light of day.
The scheme was to provide funding for new milking machines and also for cooling and storing equipment.
In a recent statement, the Department said that the start of the scheme "will depend on the ongoing budgetary situation".
The Department of Agriculture says it is making steady progress through the Disadvantaged Area Payments.
The Department is currently clearing 3,000 farmers a week from the 34,000 backlog that was created by the requirement to re-digitise nearly 100,000 maps.
This will come as a relief to farmers anxious about the first half of their Single Farm Payment, which is due to be paid out from next Monday. This will see over €500m flow into farmer accounts. 82,657 of the Disadvantaged Area payments have now beenprocessed. This equates to €128m, according to the Department.
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