Payments of €1bn available to some disadvantaged farming communities

Mayo Fianna Fáil TD Dara Calleary is advising farmers in the constituency that payments under the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme commenced from the week starting September 21.

The Minister for Labour Affairs said that, as these payments are worth in the region of €220 million and are payable to in excess of 100,000 farmers, this will be welcome news for farmers in the disadvantaged areas and to the rural economy as a whole.

In addition to the DAS payments, the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Brendan Smith also confirmed that payments in the region of €800 million will begin issuing under the 2009 Single Payment Scheme on October 16, a full six weeks earlier than provided for under the rules of the scheme.

Minister Calleary described this initiative as “very welcome news for Mayo farmers. Following agreement in Brussels in June, which enabled member states to pay an advance of the Single Farm Payment, the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has decided to pay the advance payment to our farmers”.

“As well as earlier payments, the level set for the amount of the advance payable is an unprecedented 70 per cent,” he added.

“Minister Smith has also confirmed to me that the 30 per cent balancing payments would begin issuing with effect from December 1. I want to take this opportunity to remind those applicants who have received correspondence from the Department to respond to any outstanding issues immediately.

“By far the most common error arising in applications is where the applicant overstates the eligible area of a land parcel. Where an applicant has received a letter in this context, or in respect of any other error, the application cannot be cleared for payment until the issue is resolved,” advised Minister Calleary.

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