GLAS payments worth over €138m will start landing in farmers’ bank accounts this week, some two weeks ahead of schedule.
Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue said he was delighted to be able to provide the payments earlier than expected and said he recognised the challenging year farmers had been through.
“These advance payments at a rate of 85% of the full annual payment are an important support to farmers in the delivery of key environmental actions. They are also of importance to the wider rural economy,” Minister McConalogue said.
Overall, compared to this time last year, we are paying €4m more to 3% more scheme participants
“Overall, compared to this time last year, we are paying €4m more to 3% more scheme participants, which is a fantastic outcome in light of COVID-19 restrictions.”
The average GLAS payment is worth €4,500 per farmer.
The scheme is most popular with farmers in Galway with just under 6,000 farmers enrolled in the scheme, followed by Mayo, Donegal, Cork and Kerry.
The scheme was due to end in December, with 36,000 GLAS farmer contracts ending. However, as was revealed in Budget 2021 the GLAS scheme will be rolled over into 2021.
Minister McConalogue said these GLAS farmers "now have the certainty of participating in the scheme for next year if they wish thanks to us securing the funding allocation in the budget".
"I am pleased that we have achieved this and avoided the issues of the past where scheme participants did not have this certainty when transitioning from one RDP to another," he said.
If farmers have any queries regarding GLAS, the Department will operate extended opening hours from Monday to Friday and open on Saturday 7 and 14 of November until 1.30pm.
The GLAS help desk can be contacted at 076-106 4451 or on email GLAS@agriculture.gov.ie.