Payments made under various farm schemes have breached the €1 billion mark, according to the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney.

The Department of Agriculture continues to payout on schemes such as the Basic Payment Scheme and Areas of Natural Constraints with Young Farmers Scheme payments also set to issue in the coming days.

The Minister gave the following update on key schemes this week:

Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme

Payments under the Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme commenced, on schedule, on September 23, 2015.

To date, payments worth €180m have issued over 84,000 applicants.

The total number of eligible applicants is 102,555.

According to the Minister, many applicants cannot be paid until early next year when they have complied with stocking density and retention terms of the scheme.

Basic Payment Scheme

Minister Coveney said Ireland is among the earliest to pay the BPS in the European Union and to date, of the approximately 122,265 eligible applicants, 117,380 farmers have received payments totalling €1.025 billion.

He said it is not permissible under the governing EU legislation to make partial payments in respect of unclear cases.

“Work is continuing in my Department to prioritise the processing of outstanding cases for payment under both schemes. Regular pay runs are in place to pay applicants as cases are cleared for payment,” he said.

Young Farmers Scheme

The Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney has confirmed that payments under the National Reserve and Young Farmers Scheme will commence in mid-December.

He has said payments following the successful delivery of the Basic Payment Scheme Balancing Payments and will continue into January/ February 2016.

The Young Farmers Scheme differs from payments to other farmers under the Basic Payment Scheme which this year will see a 70% advance payment of their Basic Payment Scheme with effect from October 16 with balancing payments issuing from December 1.

Processing of National Reserve, Young Farmers Scheme and Scottish Derogation applications is said to be ongoing in the Department.