Weekend opening will assist online single payment applications – north and south

The Department of Agriculture in Dublin has confirmed that its office in Portlaoise will be open on Saturday, May 13, and Sunday, May 14, in order to assist farmers wishing to make their Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) online.

A department spokesperson said:

This is in line with arrangements put in place in recent years. In particular, staff members will be on hand to assist farmers on a one-to-one basis in making their applications online.

Meanwhile, in Northern Ireland, The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has announced additional availability for it Single Application Form
(SAF) advisory service.

From 9:00am to 3:00pm on Saturday, May 6, and Sunday, May 7, and also Saturday, May 13, and Sunday, May 14, the SAF advisory service will be available to offer advice and help to those farmers who have yet to submit their applications.

A DAERA spokeswoman said:

We are not issuing paper forms generally this year and the May 15 closing date for receipt of online applications is fast approaching.

“We are urging farmers to help us to help them, by contacting the SAF advisory service now to discuss their options and secure the help they may need to make their online application safely and on time. The service has proved very popular with more than 7,500 callers receiving advice and help so far,” she added.

The most popular of the services provided has been the one-to-one appointments in local DAERA Direct offices. DAERA still has the capacity for about 2,000 appointments before the 15 May deadline. But this number is decreasing on a daily basis.

“Successfully submitting their SAF forms is one the most important things farmers will
do this year. We strongly recommend farmers take action and avoid any risk to their payment by calling now on: 0300-200-7848.”

More than 1,200 farmers have already availed of one-to-one appointments in their local DAERA Direct office. According to the department, the vast majority left with their applications fully completed.