Delays in processing payments to farmers by the Department of Agriculture are causing untold hardship to farmers according to Tim Farrell, Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association (ICSA) rural development chair.
Farrell said the practise of withholding 100% of payments indefinitely was unjust, while its impact on farmers could not be overstated.
Under the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), almost 2,000 satellite inspections are yet to be completed by the Department. A further 98 farms have been satellite-inspected but have yet to receive payment.
Some 2,505 farmers are awaiting their disadvantage area payment, with one-third having been inspected to date, Farrell said.
“Farmers are not being furnished with any information as to how long it will take to have their individual cases resolved,” he said.
“This is extremely frustrating for farmers who rely on these funds to pay their bills and service their loans. If delays are being caused on the Department side, they should at the very least issue an interim payment while the issues are resolved.”
This is extremely frustrating for farmers
Over the next two years, the Department will be updating its mapping and satellite imagery systems used to determine land eligibility.
Independent TD Danny Healy Rae called on Minister Creed and the Department to sort out the long delays in processing payments.
Healy-Rae said farmers should be fully informed of delays. He suggested an interim payment of more than half the payment should be issued while issues were resolved.
Inspected farmer waiting on BPS money
Farm inspections: ‘we’re always living in fear’