Farmers move to online BPS applications in their thousands
Irish farmers have embraced online and thousands have now submitted their Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) application by electronic means.
Figures released by the Department of Agriculture show that nearly 55,000 BPS applications have been lodged. Some 49,039 of these have been made online.
This dwarfs the number submitted by traditional paper means, which stood at just 5,960 as of April 26.
The scheme opened for applications in mid-March and the deadline is set to close on May 15.
This year farmers are allowed to submit their applications in both paper and online format. However, in 2018, 100% of BPS applications will have to be made online to keep inline with EU regulations.
The Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, has previously said that he hoped to build on the recent growth in online applications to the BPS in 2017.
There is a range of benefits that online applications provide to both farmers and the Department, he added, in terms of the more efficient processing of applications and payments.
A push for online applications
To encourage more farmers to submit their BPS applications online, the Department has made a range of supports available to assist farmers submitting their BPS payments online.
These initiatives are aimed at making it easier for farmers to access the benefits of online applications.
To accommodate this, farmers will be able to meet with Department staff on a one-to-one basis in various locations throughout the country. See the full list of locations here
Farmers encountering difficulties can also contact a dedicated helpline at: 0761-064420 and information on how to apply is also available on the Department’s website.