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Minister Smith Welcomes Continued Progress in Farm Payments

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, today welcomed the continuing progress being made in making payments under both the Single Payment Scheme (SPS) and the Disadvantaged Area Scheme (DAS).  In particular, the Minister welcomed the partial payments which have now been made to 23,466 farmers who still have parcels of land that require re-digitisation but have been paid on those parcels of land that have been cleared.

Minister Smith said that "this is a particularly important initiative which allows partial payments to be made to those farmers where some or all of their maps are still to be digitised, with the payment being calculated on the basis of the digitised land confirmed otherwise eligible. Because of this change, many farmers, whose balancing payments would otherwise have been delayed until their digitising is complete, are now receiving a payment."

The current position is that over €1 billion has now been paid out under the SPS to over 118,600 farmers, of whom over 93,000 have received their full payments, worth over €830 million.

Under the Disadvantaged Area Scheme, €195 million has now been paid to nearly 94,000 farmers.  The total value of payments made under both the SPS and the DAS now stands at over €1,255 million, since payments began on 22 September last.

Minister Smith said that he remained "confident that by year-end, the expenditure will be well in excess of the €1.35 billion.  I can assure farmers that every effort is being made to clear remaining cases for payment at the earliest possible date and, to this end, payment runs continue to be made on alternate days, between the two schemes. I am determined to ensure that everything possible will continue to be done to get the maximum level of payments to the farmers concerned as soon as possible. As the re-digitising of individual maps are completed some cases go into error as over-claims are established and my Department has issued letters to hundreds of farmers over the last few weeks. I would urge farmers to respond immediately to these letters in order that their applications can be processed for payment."

Date Released: 06 December 2010