East Galway TD Seán Canney has welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Agriculture that advance payments have begun under the 2021 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS).
The Independent TD said that he is ‘delighted’ that the advance payments under the BPS have commenced, as they “contribute greatly to maximising family farm income and are a vital support for farmers across the country.”
The payments are worth a total of €738 million and will be paid to 114,600 farmers across the country.
Deputy Canney said that it is “crucial to support farm families and that is why it is a key priority to issue payments as quickly as possible.”
The BPS advance payment is at a rate of 70% – an increase on the 50% normally allowed under regulation.
Payments will be visible in farmers’ bank accounts in the coming days and the Department will continue to process all remaining cases for payment as they meet scheme criteria.
Payments under the 2021 Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme (ANC) which started in September are also continuing as more cases are cleared for payment.
“In order to facilitate farmers wishing to contact the department regarding their BPS or ANC payments, extended hours are in place for the Direct Payments Helpline,” said Deputy Canney.
“From Monday 18 October to Friday 22 October, the Helpdesk will be available to answer farmers’ queries up to 8.30pm each evening.
“Farmers can ring the Helpdesk at 057-8674422. Farmers can also submit any queries they may have online via www.agfood.ie.”