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Minister Coveney seeks approval for advance release of €600 million EU Farm Payments

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Simon Coveney, TD, today announced that he is seeking approval for the advance payment of the Single Farm Payment from the EU Commission. At yesterday's meeting of the Council of Agriculture Ministers, the Commission was made aware of his intention

'The Single Farm Payment forms a significant part of the annual income of all farmers in Ireland. In fact, in many cases the SFP is used to subsidise the running costs of a farming enterprise and is, therefore, greater than the net farm income' the Minister said, adding 'As is clear, the timing of this payment is extremely important to farmers, particularly those on low incomes, and due to the current in accessing credit and maintaining re-payments on borrowings.' The Minister added that 'he believes that there is a strong case for an Irish submission and will press very hard for a positive outcome that will allow payments to be made in October instead of December.'

Member States seeking an advance payment must make an application to the Commission, backed up with evidence as to the exceptional circumstances to justify it. The Commission has indicated that the matter will be considered in July.

Date Released: 08 June 2011