O’Neill announces plans for Transitional Payment to Disadvantaged Area Scheme

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Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill has announced her intention to seek applications to the Transitional Payment to Disadvantaged Area Scheme from 1 February 2015.

Minister O’Neill said: “Under the new EU CAP policy framework, farmers in the Disadvantaged Area who previously qualified for support under the outgoing Less Favoured Area Compensatory Allowances (LFACA) Scheme will no longer meet the criteria to receive such support. From 2015, payments will be made only to farmers in the Severely Disadvantaged Area under the new Areas of Natural Constraint Scheme.”

She added: “Given the prospect of a sudden ending of this longstanding support payment in the Disadvantaged Area, I sought and received the agreement of the Executive last June to make a one year transition payment to those farmers who will no longer be eligible for support from the new Rural Development Programme. I am now inviting farmers to apply for this transitional support.”

Application forms will issue from 1 February, 2015 to all those who have claimed a payment for Disadvantaged Area land under the 2014/15 LFACA Scheme. Signed application forms must be returned to the Department by no later than 13 March, 2015. The payment rate will be at a fixed rate of £14.40 per hectare of eligible DA land.

It is anticipated that payments will begin to issue in June 2015.