Fine Gael TD John O’Mahony has welcomed the announcement today by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, that the first payments to farmers in AEOS 1 have been issued. Some 8,400 farmers who applied for AEOS by the closing date of May 17 last year have been approved into the scheme, and under EU rules administrative checks for all applicants had to be completed before the first payments could issue. The first tranche of payments has been issued and the remainder will be paid on an ongoing basis.
Deputy O’Mahony said he was aware that Minister Coveney was very anxious to ensure payments are made as quickly as possible to address the frustrations of farmers caused by ongoing delays. “Mayo farmers will benefit from the AEOS 1 and they will be delighted to hear that the payments have been issued. As with any new scheme, the initial administrative requirements are quite onerous and include processing applications and issuing approvals to all eligible applicants. Once this task was completed staff in the Department devoted significant resources to finalising the required administrative checks. As this process has now been completed, I am delighted to be in a position to welcome the news that the AEOS payments have now commenced and over €1.25 million has now issued.”
Deputy O’Mahony explained that advance AEOS payments are being made to those farmers whose applications are fully processed and clear, and that payments will continue to be made on an ongoing basis. “Payment of the initial 75 per cent will continue as outstanding queries are resolved, while the second stage payment of 25 per cent will also issue shortly. This scheme puts environmentally-friendly farming to the forefront and recognises the vital role farmers play in delivering public goods for the benefit of all society. That is why, despite the ongoing budgetary pressures, the scheme was re-opened this year.”