No workable deal for lowland farmers

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Following the excellent letter ‘Farmer is ready for the hills’ this seems to be the case for most low-land farmers, as they do not seem to have got as workable a deal as those in the SDA.

How was the fledgling SDA group able to obtain such a beneficial deal whilst the highly productive low-land farmers were left out in the cold.

Having been involved in the CAP consultation I felt that the plight of the average size low-land non dairying farmers’ case was not strongly enough presented by the largest farming organisation, particularly regarding the con-acre and arable situation. This is becoming more and more evident as farmers are losing their rented land and this can only lead to food shortages.

Was the seemingly special consideration given to the SDA group just a vote catching ploy as is the Minister’s contemplated move to the Ballykelly site?

Low land supporter

(FW Martin)

Dromore

DARD ‘refusing new entrant a business number’

I applied to DARD for a new business number during the first week in February. To date they still have not given me an answer as to whether or not it will be approved nor can they give me any time scales for this.

I have provided them with everything which was stated in the application guidance and several other pieces of financial documents which prove that I am a legitimate business.

It is a disgrace the way I am being treated. I am the supposed target of the new scheme in that I am a new entrant and a young farmer. I have invested money in taking ground, purchasing and applying fertiliser and slurry and carrying out repairs to fences and buildings and DARD seem to be trying to force me out. It really seems as if they are trying to stretch me to the deadline of the 15th of May in the hope that I will just go away knowing that it will be too late to appeal or take other action.

I have spoken to them every week and they continue to fob me off that they need more time. If I cannot get a business number I will have to make other arrangements as I cannot afford to lose the money which I have invested.

Also no two people within DARD can give me the same answer to a single question, with one ‘advisor’ actually admitting that no one really understands the new rules! What a farce!

Frustrated farmer