Department gives update on farm payments and scheme inspections currently underway
Department of Agriculture IT issues across a number of schemes, including GLAS, KT and TAMS must be resolved immediately so farmers can be paid without further delay, the IFA told a meeting of the Charter of Farmers Rights Monitoring Committee this week.
Speaking following the meeting, IFA Deputy President Richard Kennedy said the Charter review group told the Department IT section that the issues and problems holding back the remaining KT payments, delaying TAMS inspections and on GLAS are causing major problems for individual farmers.
Richard Kennedy said the Department provided an update on the progress regarding online BPS applications this year. He said all applications have to be online in 2018 and already 1,341 farmers of the 16,000 who submitted paper applications last year have lodged their form on-line.
The Department will be writing to farmers over the coming weeks to make sure that they get an online application lodged. In addition, the Department is arranging more than 40 meetings at local level in April to assist any applicants with their online applications.
The IFA Deputy President said it is absolutely essential that all farmers make a BPS online application in 2018. He encouraged any farmer who is having difficulties with this change to online to attend one of the Department meetings or make contact directly with the Department of Agriculture in Portlaoise or to contact the IFA for help.
Richard Kennedy said IFA also raised the issue around inspection difficulties following the severe weather last week.
The Department inspection team confirmed to IFA that the Department of Agriculture inspectors will take a flexible and practical approach in regard to any weather related inspection issues and particularly take into account the unique circumstances and any hardship issues on a case-by-case basis.