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Minister Smith announces issuing of 2010 Single Payment Application Forms

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith, TD, today announced that the issuing of pre-printed applications forms for the 2010 Single Payment Scheme had commenced.

The Minister said "I am pleased to say that these applications are issuing as early as possible, but I would urge everyone concerned to take the time to double-check the pre-printed data to ensure its' accuracy. While the data is pre-printed as an aid to completing the forms, nevertheless it remains the responsibility of each applicant to ensure that it is entirely accurate. This is the sixth year of the Single Payment Scheme and it is important that each farmer ensures that the data is correct". Minister Smith explained that while the practise of pre-printing data on the application forms has been very beneficial for both applicants and his Department, the onus rests with applicants to satisfy themselves as to its accuracy.

The Minister also referred to the ongoing campaign to ensure the accuracy of the Land Parcel Identification System. "Everyone who participated in the 2009 Scheme is being provided with a full set of colour maps of all their land parcels. The covering letter which is issuing with the maps outlines the need to have all ineligible areas excluded. While accepting that the vast majority of farmers make the appropriate deductions in the area claimed, I would earnestly ask everyone concerned to study these maps very closely and where ineligible areas are identified, to mark these on the maps and return them to my Department, preferably with their completed 2010 application form."

The Minister also took the opportunity to remind potential Single Payment applicants of his Department's on-line application facility, iNet, through which individual farmers, or approved agents working on their behalf, may submit their 2010 application. "Farmers may be aware that iNet went live for 2010 on 16 February and, I am pleased to say, already almost 4,000 applications have been lodged. I would strongly recommend that those farmers who have not signed up for iNet give serious consideration to using this option for 2010", the Minister said. "There are numerous benefits to the system, particularly the series of built-in validations which prevent applicants from making certain errors, significantly reducing the level of error on the online application versus the traditional paper application. In addition, there is the facility to view maps and an instantaneous acknowledgement of receipt by my Department of the application when it is lodged" he added. Anyone interested in learning more about the system should log onto www.agfood.ie or telephone the dedicated helpdesk at 1890 252 118.

The closing date for receipt of applications under the 2010 Single Payment Scheme is Monday, 17 May 2010.

Date Released: 31 March 2010