The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs will issue £301,755,000 to Northern Ireland farmers on the first day of direct payments for 2021.
Agriculture Minister, Edwin Poots MLA, confirmed this in a statement this afternoon (Friday, October 15th, 2021).
DAERA will issue payments to 23,393 farmers (98% of eligible applicants) on October 18th, 2021.
It stated that this is the “largest amount ever paid out to farmers on day one of the payment window”.
“This includes 91% of farm businesses selected for inspection in 2021,” it added.
Payments for Northern Ireland farmers
Announcing the payments, Minister Poots said:
“I am delighted to confirm that 98% of local farmers will be issued a total of £301 million in direct payments on October 18th.”
“As a result of exiting the EU, this is the second year the department has been able to issue payments in one go, which in turn, has represented the largest amount ever issued by my department on the first day of payments.
Payments increase by approximately £800
As the minister announced at Balmoral Show, the department has increased by 6.29% this year to ensure it uses all funding ring-fenced for this purpose.
This means that each farm business will see the value of their payments increase by approximately £800.
Minister Poots continued:
“I wish to express my thanks to staff within my department who have worked diligently to ensure that hard-pressed farming families receive these vital payments as soon as possible.”
“These payments represent the bulk of farm businesses’ annual income. Maximising payments issued on day one improves the financial viability of these businesses and the wider rural economy.”
DAERA will continue to verify a small number of remaining applications. The minister said his department would release payments daily from October 18th, 2021, onwards.
All farmers will receive payment letters via post, but they can also view them online immediately via DAERA’s online services.
On October 18th, DAERA will issue payments to pilot Protein Crops Scheme participants in NI, totalling £208,655.