Prompt payment for schemes such as GLAS is critical for farmers operating on tight margins, ICSA Rural Development Chairman, Seamus Sherlock, has said.
“ICSA has received many calls on the issue from farmers who have complied with everything that has been asked of them from the Department but who have been left high and dry waiting for payment.
“Adding to the frustration is the fact that so many farmers are having difficulty getting through to the relevant officials to discuss their cases.
“A lot of people who are under pressure financially need this payment immediately,” he said.
An update from the Department of Agriculture last week said that GLAS 2016 payments representing 85% of the full year payment for 2016 have issued to over 19,225 GLAS 1 participants and over 8,135 GLAS 2 participants.
Further payments will continue on an ongoing basis, it said.
With 38,000 farmers enrolled in the first two tranches of the scheme, this leaves in the region of 10,000 farmers awaiting payment.
Meanwhile, a total of just under 14,000 applications were submitted under the third tranche of the Green Low-carbon Agri-environment Scheme (GLAS 3), according to the Department.
Over 16,000 draft applications for the scheme were made on the Department’s website.
The analysis of the breakdown of these figures is underway with a decision on the number of farmers accepted into the scheme being made when this analysis is complete.
It is anticipated that scheme approval letters will issue to applicants before the end of January 2017. Based on the GLAS 3 plans that were submitted last week, almost 95% were either Tier 1 or 2.