The Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) Edwin Poots has announced that Environmental Farming Scheme (EFS) agreements under the fourth tranche of the scheme are starting to issue to farmers. Agreements will continue to issue into January 2021.
Following his announcement, the Minister said “The EFS represents a long term investment in our environment and I thank those farmers who are stepping up to undertake this important environmental work.”
“Farmers applied for the scheme earlier this year and, as the necessary checks have now been completed, I’m delighted to see these agreements being issued. I would ask all recipients to read their agreement carefully and complete all agreed work to the standards specified.”
All eligible farmers who applied for EFS Wider or who worked with a planner to submit a remedial management plan for EFS Higher, will receive an offer of agreement in their DAERA Online Services portal over the coming weeks. These agreements must be accepted online within the specified timeframe. Agreements cannot be changed at this stage.
Farmers should log into DAERA Online Services using their Government Gateway ID and password before the deadline given in the letter to view and accept their agreement.
Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, all those who accept the offer of an agreement will have until 31 December 2021 to complete the work applied for under the scheme. This gives farmers an extra 7 months to complete the agreed work.
For queries on EFS Agreements, please contact the EFS Advisory Service number 028 8675 7507 or the DAERA Helpline number 0300 200 7848, or email your query to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to editors:
- The Environmental Farming Scheme is funded under the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme. Approximately 160 Higher and 370 Wider agreement offers will be issued committing spend of around £8m.
- The Scheme supports farmers to undertake measures which help climate change mitigation, support biodiversity and improve water quality through a range of options.
- The EFS is a voluntary scheme.
- Farmers are advised to read their agreements, the Terms and Conditions attached and follow the various specifications carefully.
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