Farmers in Northern Ireland will receive a £15m boost to the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) budget this year, Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots has confirmed.

Speaking at Balmoral Show on Wednesday 22 September, Minister Poots said the 6.2% budget increase would equate to an extra £800 per farm on average.

“We have an availability of additional funding of £15.49m and we are passing that through to the BPS,” he told the Irish Farmers Journal.

The DUP MLA said the extra money has come from leftover funding from the COVID-19 income support scheme.

“Whenever there is a surplus of funds, previously Ministers may have sent that back to London, but I believe when the funding has been allocated to NI, it should be spent in NI where possible,” Minister Poots said.

Read more in this week’s NI edition of the Irish Farmers Journal and online.