On-line application facility for both the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) and the Greening Payment Scheme is now open.

These Schemes, together with the Young Farmers Scheme (top-up), have replaced the Single Payment Scheme in 2015.

The Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney has also confirmed the closing date for receipt of Basic Payment Scheme applications as  May 15.

“I am delighted to be in a position to announce the opening of iNet for 2015, which has gone ‘live’ this week” the Minister said, noting that “the opening of this facility nearly three months before the application closing date and almost two weeks earlier than last year, is very much in line with my commitment to maximise the use of technology for farmers’ benefit.”

The Minister said that over 80,000 applications were submitted online under the 2014 Single Payment Scheme, representing an 11-fold increase since this on-line facility was launched in 2007.

The Minister also confirmed that the closing date for the 2015 Basic Payment Scheme will be May 15, the latest date allowed under the governing EU Regulations, he urged farmers and their advisors to avail of the early opening, rather than waiting until closer to the closing date.

The Minister said an early start is particularly important this year as he has decided that certain applicants, including farmers with a greening requirement and organic farmers must apply on-line.

The Minister urged anyone considering availing of the on-line facility to make enquiries via www.agfood.ie or, alternatively, the dedicated Helpdesk at Lo-call 0761 064424 or 1890 252 118.