Payments for works completed under the Farm Safety Scheme will issue in the very near future, according to the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney.

The Minister said this week that a dedicated payment system for the Farm Safety Scheme has also been developed.

He said that there has been a high level of interest in the Farm Safety Scheme with over 6,200 applications received.

To date over 4,200 approvals have issued to applicants to undertake work under the scheme.

The Minister said the local offices of the Department are querying further applications with farmers with a view to ensuring that as many applicants as possible undertake measures to improve safety and save lives on their farms.

The most in-demand elements with farmers of the Farm Safety Scheme were mobile cattle handling equipment, yard lights, roller doors and rewiring.

According to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, mobile cattle handling equipment and yard lights were the two features of the scheme that attracted the most applications.

Grant aid of 40% was made available to farmers under the new scheme, which was announced by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney before Christmas.

He announced the measures in Budget 2015 as part of a targeted scheme to help farmers upgrade the standard of safety on their farms.

The minimum spend by farmers to avail of the scheme was €2,000, despite calls for this figure to be reduced to €1,000.