Department issues Disadvantage Area Payments to 57,000 farmers

Payments under the 2015 Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme, worth some €117m, are issuing on target, according Department of Agriculture.

“These payments represent a significant financial boost for both the individual farmer who will receive these payments and also for the wider rural economy,” according to the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney.

The Minister confirmed the scheme which replaces the Disadvantaged Area Scheme will continue to issue as individual cases are confirmed eligible for payment. It is expected that in the region of 57,000 eligible farmers will receive their payments in the coming days.

The Minister said “2015 saw the introduction of the new Basic Payment Scheme, the Greening Payment, GLAS and many more Pillar II Schemes. A significant number of farmers will be paid within the next few weeks as newly introduced processes are finalised.”

Stocking rates

While the Department can confirm minimum stocking density requirement for the bulk of applicants through Department records, many farmers will only be confirmed as reaching this minimum requirement through the submission of the necessary manual records.

Farmers who have yet to satisfy the annual average stocking density of 0.15 livestock units per forage hectare for the calendar year have until the Dec 31, 2015 to do so. Such cases can only be cleared for payment once this requirement has been confirmed.

Farmers who have satisfied the Scheme stocking requirements, should submit relevant manual records for noting without delay, thereby facilitating the speedy processing of their applications and allowing their payments to issue.

Basic Payment

The Minister also confirmed that arrangements are on target to facilitate payment of the advance of 70% of the Basic Payment Scheme with effect from October 16 with balancing payments issuing from December 1 again mindful of the need to support farmers in the current challenging times.