Advance payments under the 2020 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) (including Greening), worth €781 million, have commenced issuing, today, (Friday, October 16th). Minister McConalogue has confirmed.
He said that these payments to 118,000 farmers, are a vital support for farmers across the country and contribute greatly to maximising income and cashflow in the sector in what has been a “very challenging year for farmers”.
“A key priority for my Department is the efficient issuing of scheme payments to farmers. The BPS advance payment is commencing today at the earliest date possible under EU Regulations.”
Payment rate of 70%
“The payment is set at a rate of 70%, which is an increase on the 50% normally allowed under regulation.”
Compared to the advance payments made at this stage last year, an additional 3,500 farmers have received an advance payment in the first run of payments this year, according to the minister.
This represents an additional €34 million. In all, some 97 % of eligible applicants for the 2020 BPS are receiving their advance payment at the earliest date possible.”
Payments under the 2020 Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme (ANC), which started in September, are also continuing as more cases are cleared for payment.
“The advance BPS payment and the advance ANC payments taken together mean that some €974 million has now issued to Irish farmers in the last month.”
In order to facilitate farmers wishing to contact the Department regarding their BPS or ANC payments, extended hours are in place for the Direct Payments Helpline.
From Monday, October 19th, to Friday, October 23rd, the Helpdesk will be available to answer farmers queries up to 8.30 pm each evening. Farmers can ring the Helpdesk at 076 106 4420.
Farmers can also submit any queries they may have online via www.agfood.ie.
Regular pay runs
“Given the central importance of the many schemes currently in place, my Department has recently written to all farmers outlining the payment schedule over the coming months for these schemes.”
“I am committed to ensuring that these payments continue to issue in the most efficient way possible to ensure that these vital supports are delivered to farmers in a timely manner.
With this in mind, regular pay runs will be in place over the coming weeks to pay BPS and ANC cases as they become cleared for payment.
“Farmers who have been contacted by my Department with queries in relation to their applications should also respond at their earliest convenience in order to facilitate payment.” he concluded.