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Minister Coveney Announces First Payments Under AEOS

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, today announced that the first payments to farmers in AEOS 1 have been issued. Some 8,400 farmers who applied for AEOS by the closing date of 17 May last year have been approved into the Scheme, and under EU rules administrative checks for all applicants had to be completed before the first payments could issue. The first tranche of payments have issued and the remainder will be paid on an on-going basis.

Minister Coveney said "I am very anxious to ensure payments are made as quickly as possible to address the frustrations of farmers caused by ongoing delays."

Minister Coveney added that "As with any new scheme, the initial administrative requirements are quite onerous and include processing applications and issuing approvals to all eligible applicants. Once this task was completed staff in my Department devoted significant resources to finalising the required administrative checks. As this process has now been completed, I am delighted to announce that AEOS payments have now commenced and over €1.25 million has now issued".

The Minister explained that advance AEOS payments are being made to those farmers whose applications are fully processed and clear and that payments will continue to be made an on ongoing basis. "Payment of the initial 75% will continue as outstanding queries are resolved, while the second stage payment of 25% will also issue shortly" said Minister Coveney.

Minister Coveney re-emphasised the usefulness of AEOS. "This Scheme puts environmentally-friendly farming to the forefront and recognises the vital role farmers play in delivering public goods for the benefit of all society. That is why, despite the ongoing budgetary pressures facing my department, I re-opened the Scheme this year." Finally he added that he "is glad to say that the 7,000 farmers who applied to join AEOS in 2011 will shortly be informed whether they have been approved into the Scheme."

Date Released: 31 August 2011