Additional supports for Irish farmers applying for 2018 BPS online
The Minister stated "the recent growth in the number of online BPS applications shows more and more farmers are finding that the best way to apply for vital schemes such as BPS and ANC is online.
"Online applications offer a range of benefits for farmers and also help my Department to issue these vital payments more efficiently.”
In 2018, the online application process was opened in early February to facilitate the move to online applications.
Minister Creed added "I am delighted to see that a large number of farmers have already applied online since I announced the early opening of the 2018 application period.
"Almost 20,000 farmers have already made their online applications, compared to a total of 3,500 applications received at this stage last year.”
The Minister added "Under EU regulations, 2018 is the first year that all applications for the BPS and ANC schemes are to be submitted online.
"In keeping with these regulations, my Department has been rolling out a range of technical supports for farmers who are not in a position to apply online. This will ensure that all farmers can access these vital financial supports.
"Further to existing supports available, such as telephone help-lines, how-to guides and instructional videos, I have asked staff in my Department to be available to meet with farmers on a one-to-one basis in various locations throughout the country to assist them in making their applications.
"These clinics have proven successful in the past and farmers can sit down with an official from my Department and make their online BPS or Transfer of Entitlements applications on the spot."
From 2018 all the elements of the Direct Payments Schemes (BPS, Greening, Young Farmers Scheme, National Reserve, and Transferring of Entitlements) will be online.
This will help to ensure that the Department can process all applications under these schemes as efficiently as possible. ■