Delayed payments no longer acceptable to farmers

A REPEAT of the delays that dogged farm payments since last September must never be allowed to happen again by the Department, according to Galway IF Chair, Stephen Canavan.

Last month, Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue, confirmed that interim payments would issue to farmers in the ACRES environmental scheme by the end of February – they should have received that money before Christmas.

Flat-rate interim payments to ACRES farmers not paid as scheduled by late December started to roll out last week with an estimated 23,700 due to get their monies – €4,000 for those in the General Scheme and €5,000 for those in the Co-operative Scheme.

However, Stephen Canavan, told the Farming Tribune that it had been a ‘nightmare season’ for farmers in terms of late payments.

“It started with the ANC which didn’t arrive until October, 2023; then the BISS (Basis Income Support for Sustainability) payments were both late and broken up; while thousands of ACRES farmers are only getting their payments now.

“What we in IFA can’t understand is how farmers in other countries around Europe got their payments on time and yet here in Ireland everything fell behind – it’s simply not good enough,” said Stephen Canavan.

He added that there was still no ‘white smoke’ on the fate of farmers who had applied for inclusion in Tranche 2 of the ACRES scheme – 46,000 were included in Tranche 1, but the Minister has said that there are only 4,000 more slots available for the estimated 9,200 farmers trying to get into the second tranche.

“Either the Government and Dept. of Agriculture are serious about environmental issues or they’re not. Has any application been made by the Dept. of Agriculture to the Dept. of Finance for the extra funding to include all farmers who want to join this scheme. We’ve heard nothing,” said Stephen Canavan.

Pictured: Stephen Canavan


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