14 NOVEMBER 2019
ICSA rural development chair Tim Farrell has said Department delays in processing payments due to mapping issues are causing untold hardship to farmers. “The practice of indefinitely withholding 100% of payments is unjust and the impact on farm families cannot be overstated,” he said.
Minister Michael Creed has acknowledged that 1,952 remote sensing inspections under the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) have yet to be completed while a further 98 farms have been inspected by satellite but remain unpaid. In addition, 2,505 farmers await Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC) payments with only one third of these having been inspected to date.
“Farmers are not being furnished with any information as to how long it will take to have their individual cases resolved. This is extremely frustrating for farmers who rely on these funds to pay their bills and service their loans. If delays are being caused on the Department side, they should at the very least issue an interim payment while the issues are resolved.”
The Department of Agriculture is currently updating its mapping and imagery systems for EU funded schemes. This process has been ongoing throughout 2019 and will continue over the next two years.