A large number of co-operatives are still awaiting payment from the Department of Agriculture under the Fodder Aid Scheme and according to the department paperwork and clearance is the main reason for the delay.
In a statement to AgriLand, the department said of the 81 co-operatives, marts and other enterprises, approved under the Fodder Aid Scheme, it has received paperwork from 54, of which 19 are now cleared to payment stage.
“Of the remaining 35 cases, 19 have outstanding issues, ie missing transport/purchase documents and/or missing/unsigned de-minimis forms,” a spokesman said.
According to the update, the remaining 27 participants have yet to submit their claims. “The Department is in touch with many of these, responding to their queries as they attempt to assemble the documentation,” he continued.
The main reason for the delay is the paperwork involved in chasing each individual farmer who purchased fodder and the department admits the process is protracted.
“Given the necessity to confirm that each individual farmer, of the many thousands of farmers, who purchased fodder from a given participant is de minimis compliant in order to adhere to the requirements of the EU State Aid rules, the payment process has to be somewhat more protracted than would otherwise be the case,” the spokesman explained.
It is understood payments to a further 18 participants will be issued over the coming week, with payments continuing as soon as possible after as individual participants claims are cleared.