The next instalment of payments under the 2016 Basic Payment Scheme and Greening will commence as scheduled tomorrow, December 1, the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, has confirmed.

“Since mid-October my Department has been issuing 70% advance payments to farmers under the Basic Payment Scheme.

“From December 1, balancing payments will begin issuing to farmers. These payments are an important boost for farmers in terms of addressing cash flow issues.”

The rollout of balancing payments brings the total paid under the Basic Payment Scheme to €1.12 billion and 121,000 farmers have received a payment to date.

In addition, over 87,000 farmers have been paid a total of €188m under the Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme to date.

“Payments under the Basic Payments Scheme and the Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme over the last few months represent a total payment of over €1.3 billion to farmers.”

This is a very significant financial boost for both individual farmers and the wider rural economy, and represents an important investment in the continued growth of our agri-food sector.

The Minister confirmed that his Department is continuing to prioritise the processing of outstanding cases under both schemes.

“I can confirm that every effort continues to be made to clear for payment the small percentage of outstanding cases.

“Regular pay runs will continue to be run in December in order to process cases as quickly as possible. I am particularly pleased that we have continued to process payments at a rate that compares very favourably to the systems in place in other Member States.”

The Minister urged farmers who may have outstanding queries from his Department to respond as soon as possible.

“In this way I can ensure the quickest turnaround of cases for payment and it remains my firm intention to ensure that everything possible will continue to be done to ensure that farmers’ payments are processed as efficiently as possible.

“With this in mind, my Department will continue to roll out online application for BPS to all farmers over the next two years.”