DAERA welcomes positive start for 2017 online applications

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The online Single Application window opened on 1 March 2017 and to date more than 1,400 farmers have taken advantage of the benefits offered by DAERA’s online service to submit their applications early, with approximately 45% switching to online for the first time.

For those who have yet to submit their Single Application, DAERA is advising farmers to act early and use the online service. There are a number of support options available for those who will be applying online for the first time this year.

A DAERA spokesperson said: “The online Single Application service opened at the beginning of March and it is encouraging to note that approximately 45% of the 1,400 farmers and agents who have submitted applications online, did so for the first time.

“Whilst this is a positive step, we would continue to encourage all farmers to act early and submit their applications online well before the closing date of 15 May 2017.

“The benefits of online application include; part advance payments, online map viewer, easy to make changes, secure and available 24/7.

“We also have a number of support options available for those who may be submitting for the first time or who have experienced issues with broadband connection.”

DAERA’s online support options include;

-One-to-one appointments at a local DAERA Direct Office. To book an appointment telephone 0300 200 7848 or email areabasedschemes@daera-ni.gov.uk

- Access to broadband, facilitated by Libraries NI, at any of their 98 libraries across Northern Ireland

- Workshops at CAFRE colleges for those completing online applications for the first time this year. Pre-book your free place by telephoning 028 7131 9955

- Make the call now and don’t miss out while appointments are still available.

If farmers have difficulties with broadband or are not confident in using computers, a SAF adviser can arrange an appointment for them in their local DAERA Direct Office. This appointment will be on a ‘one to one’ basis and the DAERA Direct Office adviser will guide them through their online application.

Alternatively, farmers may have someone they know who can help them.

They can give someone else permission to complete their form online for them. This can be a member of their family, or a friend, or their accountant or an agent. But remember they will need to complete a form to nominate an authorised person.

The person who is helping can download this form from the DAERA website at www.daera-ni.gov.uk/publications/nomination-authorised-person-form-0 or call the SAF Advisory Service on 0300 200 7848.

If farmers choose to use an agent, they should make sure to contact them early to make the necessary authorisation arrangements.

The closing date for receipt of Single Applications is 15 May 2017.