Irish farmers are set for a €142m cash flow boost as payments under tranche 1 and 2 of the GLAS scheme will issue this month.

The Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, confirmed that the total active population in GLAS so far is some 37,400 farmers when responding to a Parliamentary Question from the Fianna Fail spokesperson on Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue earlier this week.

And payments in respect of the 2016 scheme year, which was the first full year of the scheme, are scheduled to commence before the end of 2016, he said.

Payment can only issue to participants who pass all the required validations. The total budget for GLAS in 2016 is €142m and it is expected to spend that allocation

The average payment to farmers under tranche 1 and tranche 2 of the scheme will be €4,600, he said.

This month’s payments follow on from payments made to farmers in tranche 1 of the GLAS scheme in 2015, where payments of €17m were issued to participants in the scheme.

The Minister also said that the 37,400 farmers currently involved in the scheme represents unprecedented level of participation in the first year of an agri-environment scheme in Ireland.

“This scheme is providing support to Irish farmers to deliver environmental benefits and public goods which will enhance Ireland’s agriculture sustainability credentials into the future

This scheme is playing a critical role in enhancing Ireland’s efforts to deliver sustainable agricultural production.

The Cork-based TD added that the scheme provides support to Irish farmers aimed at the enhancement of biodiversity, water quality and mitigation of future impacts of climate change while allowing Irish farmers to improve their agricultural productivity and practices in a sustainable manner.

“It is critical that we protect the Irish countryside for the benefit of all, and GLAS provides support to Irish producers to do this while enhancing their ability to deliver sustainable food production, which is making a critical contribution to growth in the Irish economy,” he said.