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Payments Under New Upland Sheep Scheme to Commence

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, today announced that payments under the 2009 Upland Sheep Payment Scheme will commence in early December.  This payment is worth €7 million to 13,000 hill sheep farmers for 2009. A further €54 million will be made available over the next three years in unused CAP funds to support incomes in the sheep sector.

Minister Smith said that he expected that payments worth in the region of €5 million would be made by the end of the year with the remaining €2 million being paid in early 2010. The Minister said "in view of the particular difficulties being experienced by Irish sheep farmers, I decided, earlier in the year, that the only funding available to me from the Single Farm Payment National Reserve would be targeted exclusively at this sector."

The Minister said that he had "been consistently of the view that the sheep sector is one that needs and deserves assistance and it is in that context that I have allocated €7 million to hill sheep farmers this year and I am making a further €54 million available over the next three years on a specific measure to support incomes in the sheep sector. In addition, I have allocated an additional €8 million for sheep fencing and mobile handling facilities, to assist sheep farmers in reducing labour input, as part of a new targeted on-farm investment scheme."

Note for Editors:

The 2009 Upland Sheep Payment will be payable to farmers who:

  • declared their sheep under the 2007 and the 2008 Sheep Census;
  • declared Mountain Type Grazing under the 2009 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme; and
  • were eligible for and were in receipt of payment under the 2009 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme.

The maximum area payable is 15 hectares of mountain type grazing.

Date Released: 18 November 2009