Almost 100% of Single Applications made online in NI
The total number of Single Applications received by 15 May 2017 was 24,901, of which 24,783 were submitted via the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs’s (DAERA’s) online service.
Some 9,557 farmers switched to online application in 2017.
Welcoming the figures, Jason Foy, head of payments at DAERA, said: “It has been a real team effort this year between DAERA and farmers to encourage uptake of online applications.
“I’m delighted that 99.53% of farmers chose to submit their Single Application online, an increase of 37.53% from 2016.
“Throughout the Single Application window, we have been appealing to farmers to ‘Help Us to Help You’ by using our online services.
“This positive result demonstrates that farmers have recognised the advantages of online application over paper, such as reducing the possibility of simple errors and reducing the time taken to carry out validation checks.”
Foy said that DAERA staff have assisted more than 3,000 farmers through appointments at DAERA direct offices, in addition to providing telephone and online support.
“Our digital services team has delivered an online system that is intuitive and easy to use and I would encourage farmers to continue to use the various online tools available to them to aid their businesses.
“The European Commission has instructed member states to have 100% of land claimed online by 2018. This year’s outcome puts us in a very strong position to meet that target next year.”
Applications received between 16 May and 9 June 2017 will be subject to a penalty. Payment will be reduced by 1% for each working day the application is late, except in cases of force majeure or exceptional circumstances.