A total of £301,755,000 in Direct Payments will issue to Northern Ireland farmers on the first day of payments for 2021, Agriculture Minister, Edwin Poots MLA, has announced.
Payments will issue to 23,393 farmers (98% of eligible applicants) on 18 October. This is the largest amount ever paid out to farmers on day one of the payment window. This includes 91% of farm businesses selected for inspection in 2021.
Announcing the payments, Minister Poots said: “I am delighted to confirm that 98% of local farmers will be issued a total of £301million in Direct Payments on 18 October. As a result of exiting the EU this is the second year the Department has been able to issue payments in one go, which in turn has represented the largest amount ever issued by my Department on the first day of payments.
“As I announced at the Balmoral Show, payments have been increased by 6.29% this year to ensure that all funding ring-fenced for this purpose is used.”
Minister Poots continued: “I wish to express my thanks to staff within my Department who have worked diligently to ensure that hard-pressed farming families receive these vital payments as soon as possible. These payments represent the bulk of farm businesses’ annual income. Maximising payments issued on day one improves the financial viability of these businesses and the wider rural economy.”
The small number of remaining applications will continue to be verified by DAERA, with payments being released daily from 18 October onwards. Payment letters will issue by post to all customers, but can also be viewed online immediately via DAERA Online Services.
Notes to editors:
1. Annual funding for agricultural support in Northern Ireland has been guaranteed by the Treasury until the end of this Parliament. To ensure that this funding is fully utilised within Northern Ireland, an increase of 6.29% will be made to BPS payments in 2021. This increase only applies to 2021 payments. The increase will equate to an average increase of approximately £800 across all Northern Ireland farm business. Depending on the size of their BPS payment, some farm businesses will receive more than £800, some will receive less.
2. On 18 October payments to applicants of the pilot Protein Crops Scheme will also issue, totaling £208,655.
4. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office.
5. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.
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