Mayo Fine Gael TD Deputy Michelle Mulherin this week welcomed the announcement by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Deputy Simon Coveney, that the 2014 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme, worth some €149 million nationally, has started issuing, on schedule, today.
Deputy Mulherin said: “The issuing of the 2014 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme will mean payments of €15,711,132.47 for 7,734 farmers in Mayo. Direct aid payments to farmers and the rural community are extremely important. I know a lot of farmers in Mayo are dependent on this payment so the fact that this money is being issued on time is to be greatly welcomed. Approximately 71,500 eligible farmers across the country will receive their payments in the coming days, but with such a large volume of payments due, it is expected to take about a week for all payments to be issued.”
She continued by saying: “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 so that payments can be issued. I would encourage all farmers who believe they are eligible in Mayo to present their horse passports, sheep registers, etc, to the Department to assure payment. Farming and agri-business are extremely important to Ireland and to Mayo. These payments are essential to provide cash-flow and to secure the business. I am very pleased that more farmers are receiving their payment on time; the number of farmers being paid in the first tranche is up from 58,000 last year to 71,500 in 2014. Minister Coveney has also confirmed that arrangements are on target to allow payment of the 50 per cent advance of the Single Payment, with effect from October 16. This is another very important payment which assists farmers’ cash flows.”
The Ballina based TD concluded by saying: “Despite the good weather, it has been a challenging year for farmers across the country. However the economy is beginning to improve and the contribution of the agri-business sector has been significant in this recovery. The Government is committed to rebuilding a sustainable and robust economy, we are determined that the recovery will not be threatened or wasted and improving systems to assist the farming community is part of this plan.”