99% of eligible farmers receive full BPS payment for 2017

A total of 99% of eligible farmers have received their full Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) payment for 2017, the latest figures show.

As of the end of last week, some 122,372 farmers had been paid under the scheme. This meant that there were just over 900 applicants who were awaiting a partial or full payment on Friday, December 29.

There is a total of 123,284 eligible farmers partaking in this scheme, while total payments have equalled €1.143 billion.

But, this figure also includes a payment for the Young Farmers’ Scheme of €15.3 million and a payment of €2.85 million for the National Reserve, according to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

In September of this year, the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, confirmed that advance BPS and Greening payments would commence from mid-October.

He also welcomed the fact that the European Commission had agreed to his request to increase the rate of the advance payment from 50% to 70% in 2017.

Minister Creed made the announcement on the final day (Thursday, September 21) of the National Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Tullamore, Co. Offaly.

A similar decision was also taken in the previous year, due to the financial difficulties faced by farmers as a result of difficult working conditions.

The balancing payments under the BPS scheme commenced from December 1. The roll-out of the balancing payments brought the total paid out at the beginning of last month to over €1 billion.

Meanwhile, a total of €198.7 million has been paid out under the Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC) scheme and the Areas of Specific Constraint (ASC) scheme.

These payments have issued to some 92,613 farmers, the department explained.