Relief is needed for farmers under financial difficulty, this is according to Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Agriculture Éamon Ó Cuív TD.

He has called on the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to ensure there is early payment of both the Disadvantaged Area Scheme (DAS) and Single Farm Payment (SFP) to provide relief for farmers under severe financial difficulties.

In a statement to AgriLand, Deputy Ó Cuív said a parliamentary question submitted by him calling for the SFP and DAS to be paid early this year revealed that the SFP cannot be paid before the 16 October, 2013 due to EU regulations.

“I have been informed by the minister that every effort will be made to ensure that payments under the 2013 DAS will commence as early as possible in September. I am now also asking the minister to bring forward this date to July to assist the farming community, which is under severe financial difficulty.

“I have also made strong representations to the minister asking that every effort be made to clear all queries in relation to these schemes before the payments are made. In previous years, many farmers were only informed of difficulties in relation to their applications after the date of the first payment.

“This, in many cases, delayed the farmers in receiving payment for two to three months after the date on which other farmers were paid. It is absolutely vital that this is avoided this year, due to the pressure on farmers because of the poor weather. I hope now that the minister will ensure that all such queries are resolved in the short term and I look forward to farmers getting their payments on time this year.”

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