1,500 young farmers awaiting payment as questions remain over applications

Some 1,550 applicants to the National Reserve/Young Farmer Scheme cannot be processed yet due to a lack of documentation, according to the Department of Agriculture.

Of the 9,300 applications to the scheme, to date some 7,200 applications have been fully processed, figures from the Department show.

The Department has issued letters to over 850 young farmers applicants in the scheme requesting further documentation or information in order to finalise processing of their applications.

In addition to this, the Department also requested additional documentation from 700 farmers in order to finalise their 2015 Transfer of Entitlement applications.

This outstanding documentation may also be delaying National Reserve and Young Farmer Scheme applications, it said.

The Department is now urging the farmers involved to engage with the Department and respond as soon as possible in order to have their applications finalised.

Payments to applicants to the Young Farmers Scheme did not commence until mid-December, which the Department said was to allow for the successful delivery of the Basic Payment and other schemes and will continue, based on regular payment runs.

It previously said that it will continue to process the payment of eligible cases under the Young Farmers Scheme to ensure that payment is made as soon as possible but it will take some weeks to complete the cases.

Earlier this year, Macra na Feirme President Sean Finan said that the delays in payments was causing “considerable hardship for the young farmers affected”.

Finan also said that the delays experienced by young farmers are ‘totally unacceptable’ and ‘not good enough’.