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€345m cash injection for farmers

Farmers in Northern Ireland will receive a total of £293million (approximately €345 million) in direct payments for the 2020 scheme year.

The announcement was made by Agriculture Minister, Edwin Poots MLA, during a visit to Ballymena Mart on Tuesday of this week.

He outlined that the 2020 scheme will operate in a “similar fashion” to that in 2019, apart from a small number of issues where change is necessary as a result of the exit from the EU.

 “Payments under the 2020 scheme year will be nationally funded and, consequently, there will be no deductions from payments under the EU financial discipline mechanism.”

October 2020

The limit on advance payments, which was 70% of the total payment in 2019, he added, has been removed and as a result, his Department intends to make full payments from October 16th, 2020.

“It is my intention to use the 2019 scheme year exchange rate of €1 = £0.89092 to calculate individual farmer’s payments for the 2020 scheme year, meaning that farmers now have certainty on the exchange rate that will be used.”

“The option for farmers to receive payments in euro will no longer be available given our exit from the EU.”

“I can also confirm that the unit value of Basic Payment Scheme entitlements held by individual farmers in the 2020 scheme will remain at the same value as in 2019 scheme year.”

Poots explained that his Department will continue with work on developing policy on the longer-term arrangements for agricultural support and further engagement with stakeholders will “follow in due course”.

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