The 2014 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme, worth over €3.66m for County Westmeath and some €149 million nationally, has started issuing this month.
Mairead McGuinness, Fine Gael MEP for Westmeath and vice president of the European Parliament said the 2014 scheme will mean payments of €3.66 million for 1,899 farmers in County Westmeath.
“Direct aid payments to farmers and the rural community are extremely important. A lot of people are dependent on this payment and it has a multiplier effect in the local economy,” she said.
“It is also important to note that there are a significant number of farmers who appear ineligible for this payment under their stocking provisions. I am sure many of those affected are eligible but they must submit the appropriate documentation to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine so that payments can be issued. I would encourage all farmers in County Westmeath who believe they are eligible, to present their horse passports, sheep registers, etc to avoid a delay in receiving payment.
“These payments are essential to provide cash flow and to secure the business,” the MEP said.
Minister Coveney has confirmed that arrangements are on target to issue payment of the 50 per cent advance of the Single Payment, with effect from October 16.
“Despite the good weather, it has been a challenging year for farmers across the country. However the economy is on a upward curve and the contribution of the agri-business sector has been significant in this recovery,” she said.