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Minister Coveney announces extension to closing date for receipt of 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, today announced an extension to the closing date for receipt of derogation applications under the 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme. "I am conscious that for some of those intending to apply for a derogation under the 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme that the closing date of 24 August is posing some difficulties and, therefore, I have decided to extend the closing date by one week, to Friday, 31 August 2012" the Minister said.

One of the changes to the Terms and Conditions governing the 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme requires that applicants have achieved a minimum stocking density during 2011 of 0.3 livestock units per forage hectare. On foot of the commitment given by Minister Coveney that everyone who failed to achieve this minimum would be afforded the opportunity to apply for a derogation, approximately 10,000 Scheme beneficiaries from 2011 have been written to and afforded the opportunity to apply, under specific categories:

  • Category 1:  Farmers with a lower stocking density as a result of adherence to an agri-environment of similar type of plan.
  • Category 2: Farmers, who are not subject to the restrictions from a stocking density point of view of plans referred to under Category 1 above, but whose stocking levels were restricted by the poor land productivity and farming constraints.
  • Category 3: This Category is for farmers who took over a farm either immediately before or during 2011, where the previous owner died.
  • Category 4: This category is for farmers whose livestock were affected by an epizootic disease. An epizootic disease is any disease that affects a large number of animals in one place at one time.
  • Category 5: New Entrants.
  • Category 6: Miscellaneous, This category is for farmers who consider their particular circumstance is not covered in the categories set out above, e.g. farmers who were occupationally incapacitated as a result of an illness and/or hospitalisation.
The deadline for receipt of applications was fixed as 24 August; this was designed to allow adequate time to consider each of the applications, mindful that each of the derogation applications needs to be individually examined and assessed. "While I am pleased to see that the response to date has been very positive, with large numbers of applications already received, I am also conscious that the time-frame is causing difficulties for some farmers who wish to apply," the Minister said, adding "I have, therefore, decided to extended the closing date by one week, to 31 August. I would strongly urge everyone intending to apply to do so as soon as possible and, in any event, before the end of the month".

Date Released: 21 August 2012