Payments worth €185 million under the 2020 Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC) scheme have commenced issuing this week to 86,000 farmers.
In line with last year’s arrangement, the payments currently issuing are an 85% advance payment on the ANC Scheme. 15% balancing payments are due to commence in early December.
Making the announcement, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, T.D., said: “I am conscious of the many challenges faced by farmers during 2020 and the importance of the timely delivery of payments under the ANC scheme.”
“With this in mind, I am happy to confirm that the 86,000 farmers being paid in this first tranche of 2020 advance payments is an increase from the €168.5m paid to 79,000 farmers at this stage in 2019.”
“These payments represent a timely and significant financial boost for farmers and for the wider rural economy.”
He said the DAFM will continue to process, as a matter of urgency, all remaining cases for payment as they meet scheme criteria.
“The issuing of these payments now underscores my determination to maximise payments to farmers at the earliest possible time.”
“My Department has recently written to all farmers to outline the timetable for payments under various schemes in the coming months and our focus remains on delivering these payments on schedule.”
Not all applications cleared for payment
As in previous years, not all ANC applications are currently cleared for payment.
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, the DAFM confirmed that farmers have until December 31st, 2020 to do so. Such cases will be processed 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, the DAFM added.
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.
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 October 16th, 2020.