Digital ditches could hit farmers in the pocket

Declan O’Brien

Problems relating to the re-digitising of land parcels submitted under the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) in 2017 are resulting in farmers losing entitlements to the national reserve.

“In recent days we’ve had ICMSA members raising concerns in relation to the re-digitisation of 2017 applications after the 2018 closing date. Farmers are now in danger of losing entitlements due to non-usage and their 2018 payment is also possibly going to be delayed,” Lorcan McCabe told the Farming Independent.

With BPS payments due out next Tuesday, Mr McCabe, ICMSA deputy president, said any threatened delay or reduction in supports was a serious concern for farmers.

“This is just unacceptable: you can’t pay a participant and then a year later alter your decision without giving the farmer any opportunity to remedy the problem. 

Payments are due on Tuesday, October 16, and this digitisation issue needs to be resolved immediately in a way whereby no farmer should suffer a loss of entitlements,” Mr McCabe said.

“Remember that under the Farmers Charter, the Department is committed ‘to have all problems dealt with by September 15.  But problems are coming to light for farmers now and it is essential that these are resolved in the next week,” he added.

Mr McCabe said ICMSA will raise the issue at the Farmers Charter Committee meeting on Thursday (October 11).

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