The Department of Agriculture has announced clarification on the rules for Land Eligibility under the Direct Payment Schemes.

It has published a booklet, which is says details of the characteristics of the agricultural land that will be deemed in a state fit for grazing or cultivation will be outlined.

“This is a very important year for farmers in submitting their applications under the Direct Payment Schemes. In order to protect their payments under these schemes farmers should ensure that the areas they declare for payment are fully eligible for payment.

“I believe that the eligibility booklet will be of benefit to farmers in arriving at their conclusions and allow them to submit a fully complete application”.

A copy of this booklet will be issued, within the coming days, to all farmers in Ireland and will be available on the Department’s website. The Department has also put in place a helpline to assist farmers who may have questions on land eligibility.

“The implementation of the Direct Payment Schemes under the new CAP sees some changes to the requirements governing the eligibility of land and other related matters.

“Officials from my Department have worked closely with the EU Commission during recent weeks and months with a view to establishing a set of requirements which are clear and workable from the point of view of individual farmers as well as other stakeholders, including this Department.

“We were also mindful of the need to ensure that the implementing provisions were the most appropriate in the context of farming in Ireland and providing as much flexibility as possible to farmers. In order to benefit from payment under the Direct Aid Schemes, land must be eligible and must also be in a state fit for grazing or cultivation.”

The Department has also arranged to hold information meetings on land eligibility for these agricultural advisors and consultants starting this week.

Schedule of Information Meetings on Land Eligibility for Advisors and Consultants under the Direct Payment Schemes.

  • Thursday 30th April 2015, from 8.00 p.m. to 10.00 p.m. – Bush Hotel, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim.
  • Tuesday 5th May 2015, from 8.00 p.m. to 10.00 p.m. – Hotel Kilkenny, Kilkenny.
  • Wednesday 6th May 2015, from 8.00 p.m. to 10.00 p.m. – Charleville Park Hotel, Charleville, Co Cork.
  • Thursday 7th May 2015, from 8.00 p.m. to 10.00 p.m. – Mullingar Park Hotel, Mullingar, Co Westmeath.