Mr. John Hanley, Roscommon IFA Co. Chairman has said that following the EU Council of Agriculture Ministers’ decision to allow an advance payment of 70% of the Basic Payment and Greening on 16th October next, it is now up to the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to ensure that this is delivered in full to farmers.
Mr. Hanley said with severe income difficulties across all sectors, the earlier payment of 70% advance, compared to 50%, is welcome. Farmers now expect payments to be made in line with the deadlines set down in the new Charter of Rights.
The IFA Co. Chairman also said the first payment due to farmers for the 2015 schemes is the Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC), which is due to be paid in the week beginning 21st September.
Mr. Hanley said following on from the EU Council meeting, it should also be possible to pay agri-environment scheme payments such as AEOS in October, once the eligibility checks have been completed.
Mr. Hanley said Direct Payments, which are worth around €1.65bn to farmers in 2015, are a vital income lifeline to most farmers. Timely payments must be the priority for Minister Coveney, he concluded.