ANC payments made to over 8,000 NI farmers
Payments totalling £14.7m have been made to 8,119 applicants to the Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC) scheme in NI, the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has announced.
The £20m scheme is funded under the Rural Development Programme, with DAERA stating that around 8,800 farmers are eligible in Severely Disadvantaged Areas (SDA).
Payment rates for the scheme are £56.47/ha up to 200ha, with a reduced rate of £42.35/ha applying over 200ha.
The department has said that the first payments under the 2017 ANC scheme were made on 13 March and the target is to pay 95% of eligible claims by 31 March.
A one-year extension to the ANC scheme in NI in 2018 has a significantly reduced budget of £8m. Farmers with SDA land apply for payment under the one-year extension in the 2017 Single Application form, with payments due to be made in March 2018.