Mayo Fine Gael TD, Michelle Mulherin, has welcomed the announcement by Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, of payments worth around €220 million to farmers under the 2011 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme. This includes €17,059,463.20 to 8,184 farmers in Mayo.
“This scheme will benefit over 100,000 farmers nationally and will be of significant benefit to farmers here in Mayo. It is important that prompt payment is made and farmers will receive 100 per cent of the payment up front, a very welcome change from last year when only 75 per cent of the payment was allocated initially. This Government is aware of the importance of cash-flow for farmers, particularly those on low incomes, and is responding accordingly. Farmers who qualify for the scheme should receive their payment in the coming days.”
Deputy Mulherin added: “In recent weeks the Department of Agriculture has written to 10,000 of those who applied to Disadvantaged Areas Scheme to try and ascertain whether they qualify for the scheme. They are seeking proof such as horse passports or sheep registers. I would urge farmers to respond to this requirement immediately so that they can receive their full entitlement under the scheme.”
By allowing for a 100 per cent up-front payment of the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme and negotiating a 50 per cent advance of the Single Farm Payment, which should become available on October 16, “this Government has shown that it is in tune with the challenges that farmers are facing. Farmers in Mayo will no doubt support any moves to bring forward these vital payments upon which their livelihoods depend,” Dep Mulherin concluded.