Some €182m in Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC) payments have started to issue to 85,000 farmers.
It is the first tranche of the payments from the Department of Agriculture under the scheme, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue said.
The payments are an 85% advance payment and the remaining 15% balancing payments are due to commence in early December.
In line with previous years, not all applications are currently cleared for payment under the ANC scheme, the Department of Agriculture has said.
Regular pay runs will continue in the coming weeks
In particular, it said that many farmers have yet to satisfy the annual average stocking density of 0.15 livestock units per forage hectare for the calendar year.
However, farmers have until 31 December 2021 to do so and cases can only be cleared for payment once this requirement has been confirmed.
Regular pay runs will continue in the coming weeks to ensure cleared cases are processed for payment as quickly as possible and farmers are advised to submit any outstanding stocking evidence in support of their application to the Department’s Portlaoise office as soon as possible to facilitate the early release of payments.
The Minister said he is conscious of the importance of the timely delivery of payments under the ANC scheme.
These payments represent a timely and significant financial boost for farmers
“The ANC scheme is a crucial one for so many farm families and I was keen to issue payments as soon as possible. These payments represent a timely and significant financial boost for farmers and for the wider rural economy.
“The issuing of these payments in mid-September underscores my determination to maximise payments to farmers at the earliest possible time,” he said.
The Minister said that payments will be visible in farmers’ bank accounts in the coming days and the Department will continue to process all remaining cases for payment as they meet the scheme criteria.
He also confirmed that arrangements are being made by the Department to facilitate payment of the advance of 70% under the Basic Payment Scheme with effect from 18 October 2021.