Payments worth over €160 million under 2017 Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme
The Minister commented "The ANC Scheme is an important support for farmers in many regions of the county, and I am delighted to announce that payments have now started to issue.
"My Department will continue to process remaining cases for payment as a matter of urgency over the coming weeks."
The Minister also noted that the value and number of payments issuing in the first tranche is significantly increased on the 2016 figure, when €140 million issued to 65,000 farmers.
"These figures underscore my determination to maximise payments to farmers in the most timely manner possible.
"In addition, the increased uptake on online applications under the 2017 ANC and BPS schemes continues to bring benefits for farmers and my Department in terms of more efficient processing of applications.
"This trend will continue as we move towards 100% online applications from 2018."
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 2017 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. ■