Almost 35,000 online BPS applications submitted to date

Almost 35,000 online Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) applications have been submitted to date, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, announced recently.

The minister opened the application process for the scheme in February, which was earlier than normal, in order to facilitate 2018 being the first year that all applications had to be submitted online.

Commenting on the matter, Minister Creed said: “Online applications offer a range of benefits for farmers and also help my department to issue these vital payments more efficiently.

I am delighted to see that a large number of farmers have already applied online since I announced the early opening of the 2018 application period.

“Almost 35,000 farmers have already made their online applications, compared to a total of just 21,000 applications received at this stage last year.”

Technical supports

In order to support farmers applying online, the department has been rolling out a range of technical supports to ensure that all farmers can access these “vital financial supports”, the minister added.

Continuing, he said: “Staff from my department are available to meet with farmers on a one-to-one basis in various locations throughout the country to assist them in making their applications.

“These clinics have proven very successful to date and farmers can sit down with an official from my department and make their online BPS or Transfer of Entitlements applications on the spot.

Already over one fifth of the small minority of farmers who applied in paper format last year have made the transition to an online application.

“It is important to ensure that this momentum is now maintained, and the one-to-one clinics offer farmers the opportunity to make the move to online efficiently,” he said.

In the coming week clinics will be available in Buncrana, Ballybofey, Roscommon, Sligo, Rosscarbery, Fermoy, Dungarvan, Bunclody, and Ballinasloe.

A full list of all the clinics over the coming weeks is available on the department’s website.

Concluding, Minister Creed said: “I would urge all farmers to apply for the BPS as soon as possible via the online system. It is open for farmers to do this either as individuals or through an agent.

“The move to online applications will allow my department to continue to improve on the delivery of essential scheme payments to farmers.”