No delays in processing BPS payments for partnerships – Macra

Macra na Feirme has received assurance from the Department of Agriculture that there will be no delays in the processing Basic Payment Scheme payments for Department registered partnerships.

According to the organisation representing young farmers, the Department of Agriculture will prioritise transfer and partnership cases and will put in place the necessary IT support to process payments without delay.

Payments under the Basic Payment Scheme, formerly known as the Single Farm Payment are expected to roll out from October 17.

Macra na Feirme’s President Sean Finan said it is important that farmers who are involved in registered farm partnerships do not experience delays in processing their BPS payments

“Macra warmly welcomes the news and believes it will go a long way in helping many farmers, both young and old, to withstand the pressures of poor commodity prices and loan repayments,” he said.

Farmers in partnerships experienced long delays last year in processing their BPS applications due to complexities in the new partnership register, the establishment of land parcels and the division of entitlement among partners, Macra has said.

Macra also says that the sector as a whole warrants generational renewal to ensure the longevity and competitiveness of Ireland’s agri sector into the future.

But, it says that delays in farm payments have the potential to decrease the attractiveness of the farming sector to future generations.

Much work has gone into schemes aimed towards promoting farming partnerships as well as access to land for young farmers and measures to support their establishment on the land, it says.

It would be a blow for generation renewal and the future of Irish agriculture if the appeal of farm partnerships was coloured by payment delays.

The prompt processing of BPS and other scheme entitlements for partnerships is essential to encouraging farmers to consider collaborative farming options.