26th April, 2013
The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association has called on the Minister for Agriculture to allow farmers to hand in their Single Farm Payment applications to their local District Veterinary Offices, as the deadline for submitting the form looms.
Sligo farmer and ICSA president Gabriel Gilmartin says Minister Coveney should take this step, notwithstanding the programme of DVO downgrading currently in action. “The deadline for submitting the Single Farm Payment application is just over three weeks away, and as we all know, farmers are under huge pressure at the moment as a result of the fodder crisis. As it stands, many farmers face the prospect of having to travel very long distances to be able to hand in their forms at central offices because their own local one is no longer open to the public.”
Mr Gilmartin said, “While many will use the online service, it is simply not a viable option for a significant proportion of the farming community. Farmers need a Department office within a realistic commutable distance for applications as crucial and complex as the Single Farm Payment.”