Over 75,000 farmers to receive €160 million in ANC payments

Over 75,000 farmers are to receive in excess of €160 million in payments under the Areas of Natural Constraints (ANC) Scheme.

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, announced the payments run this morning, September 19 – on the first day of the National Ploughing Championships.

Commenting on the announcement, Minister Creed said: “The ANC Scheme is an important support for farmers in many regions of the county, and I am delighted to announce that payments have now started to issue.

“My department will continue to process remaining cases for payment as a matter of urgency over the coming weeks.”

The value and number of payments issuing in the first tranche is significantly higher compared to 2016 figures, when €140 million issued to 65,000 farmers, according to the minister.

These figures underscore my determination to maximise payments to farmers in the most timely manner possible.

“In addition, the increased uptake on online applications under the 2017 ANC and BPS (Basic Payment Scheme) schemes continues to bring benefits for farmers and my department, in terms of more efficient processing of applications.

“This trend will continue as we move towards 100% online applications from 2018,” Minister Creed concluded.

Last week, the Deputy President of the Irish Farmers’ Association’s (IFA’s), Richard Kennedy, noted that these ANC payments are “vital at this time, particularly given the very difficult weather conditions over the past month”.

This scheduled run of ANC payments is in line with the Charter of Farmers’ Rights and the IFA expects the maximum to be paid out, he added.

These payments should be followed by a 70% advance of the BPS on October 16 to 130,000 farmers, Kennedy claimed.