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Creed Announces Payments Worth over €185.6 Million under 2018 Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme

on Tuesday, 25 September 2018. Posted in Blog, Schemes, Tillage, Sheep, Dairy, Beef

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, T.D., today announced that payments worth over €185.6 million under the 2018 Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme and Areas of Specific Constraint (Islands) Scheme, have commenced issuing this week to almost 77,000 farmers.

The Minister commented “I am conscious of the many challenges faced by farmers in the past year due to adverse weather conditions and other external factors. These payments represent a timely and significant financial boost for farmers and for the wider rural economy.  My Department will continue to process, as a matter of urgency, all remaining cases for payment as they meet scheme criteria.”

The Minister also noted that, further to his securing an additional €25 million for the 2018 ANC budget, farmers will receive increased payments under the Scheme this year. 

The €185.6m issuing in the first tranche of payments in 2018 is significantly increased on the equivalent 2017 figure of €160m.  In addition, the number of farmers being paid in this first tranche has increased from 75,000 in 2017 to almost 77,000 this year.

The Minister commented, “These increased figures underscore my determination to maximise payments to farmers at the earliest possible time.  The figures also highlight the benefits for farmers in terms of the more efficient processing of payments following the move to 100% online applications in 2018 under the ANC and BPS schemes.”

Concluding, the Minister also confirmed that arrangements are on target to facilitate payment of the advance of 70% under the Basic Payment Scheme with effect from 16 October 2018. 

Note for Editors

In line with previous years, not all applications are currently cleared for payment under the scheme.  In particular, many farmers have yet to satisfy the annual average stocking density of 0.15 livestock units per forage hectare for the calendar year.  However, farmers have until 31 Dec 2018 to do so. Such cases can only be cleared for payment once this requirement has been confirmed.

Regular pay runs will continue in the coming weeks to ensure cleared cases are processed for payment as quickly as possible.  Farmers should submit any outstanding stocking evidence in support of their application to the Department’s Portlaoise Office as soon as possible to facilitate the early release of payments.


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