Payments under the Area of Natural Constraints Scheme will begin to hit Irish farmer’s bank accounts on Wednesday, September 21.
Farmers using the Department of Agriculture’s online service, www.agfood.ie, received a text message today informing them that payments under the ANC scheme have been processed and will be lodged into their accounts later this week.
The Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed announced today, September 20, that payments under the 2016 Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme and Areas of Specific Constraint (Islands) scheme, worth over €140m, have started issuing to almost 65,000 farmers.
Minister Creed said these payments represent a significant and timely financial boost for farmers and for the wider rural economy.
“My Department will continue to clear remaining cases for payment over the coming weeks as a matter of priority,” he said.
Currently, there are approximately 102,000 farmers in receipt of the payment under the scheme formerly know as the Disadvantage Area Payment.
This year the scheme has a total budget of €195m, but under the Programme for Government there are plans to increase the funding by €25m in Budget 18.
According to Department of Agriculture, the payment rates under the ANC Scheme range from €82.27-109.71/ha.
Under the scheme, land is classified under three categories which are: mountain type lands, severely handicapped lowland and less severely handicapped lowland farms.
Payments will be made in the order of mountain type lands first, more severely handicapped lowland second and then less severely handicapped lowland farms.
This method of payment is used to maximise the amount which can be paid to an applicant, it says.
Farmers on mountain type land will be paid €109.71/ha for the first 10 hectares farmed with a sheep, cattle or goat enterprise or a combination of all three, while the payment rate drops to €95.99/ha for the remaining land up to maximum payable area 34 hectares.
According to the Department, the payment rate for more severely handicapped lowland is €95.99/ha up to a maximum overall area of 30 hectares, while farmers on less severely handicapped lowland farms are paid €82.27/ha up to a maximum of 30 hectares.