Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Wednesday 15 August 2018

€700m cash boost for 111,000 farmers as EU payments arrive early

Payments delayed for 10pc of eligible farmers

Photo Roger Jones.
Photo Roger Jones.
The level of aid can be further enhanced where a Young Farmer is part of such a collaborative arrangement.. Stock photo
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

The commencement of advance payments under the 2017 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) and the Greening Payment has been announced.

These payments, worth some €700m to 111,000 farmers and come following recent discussions between the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed and the EU Commission.

Minister Creed also confirmed that the level of the advance payment is set at 70pc for 2017 rather than 50pc as provided for in the EU legislation.

"Every year, the advance payment of the BPS is a vital support for farmers across sectors in terms of maximising cash flow.  It is a priority for my Department that these payments issue in the most efficient manner possible, and that they commence on the earliest date possible under EU Regulations.”

The Minister also commented that “I am happy to confirm that the 111,000 farmers paid in the initial tranche of advance payments represent an increase over the 109,000 farmers paid at this stage last year.

"Over 90pc of eligible applicants for the BPS have now been paid in this first tranche. As we move to full online application by 2018, my Department will be able to introduce further efficiencies into the processing of payments which will be of direct benefit to farmers.”

Payments under the Areas of Natural Constraint Scheme also continue to issue as cases are cleared for payment. 

Minister Creed added that “the advance BPS payment and the ANC payments taken together mean that over €880m has now issued to Irish farmers in the last month. 

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"These payments provide a significant financial boost for individual farmers and the wider rural economy. I was delighted to secure an increase in the ANC scheme allocation for 2018.  This €25m increase will provide direct financial support to farmers in the most marginal areas of the Country."

The Minister indicated that advance payments will continue issuing regularly until mid-November, with balancing payments to commence issuing from early December. 

In order to facilitate farmers who wish to contact the Department in relation to their BPS or ANC payments, extended hours are now in place for the Direct Payments Helpline. 

For the period from October 17 to October 21, farmers can ring the Department at 076 106 4420 between 9am and 8.30pm on weekdays and from 9am to 1pm on Saturday.

The Minister also confirmed that payments under the 2017 National Reserve and Young Farmers Scheme will commence early in December 2017

The Minister said payments under the BPS and ANC scheme will continue to issue as individual cases are cleared. 

"I will continue to prioritise the ongoing processing of payments, subject to the requirements of the schemes being met," he said.


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