Direct Payments to be ‘made in full’ Poots announces

Direct Payments will be made on 1 September in full this year only, to help farmers with cash-flow issues caused by market disturbances.

Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Edwin Poots MLA, made the announcement at the 153rd Balmoral Show at the Eikon Centre in Lisburn.

Speaking at the DAERA breakfast this morning, the Minister said: “I am delighted to be back for the 2022 Balmoral Show in my continued role as DAERA Minister and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our stakeholders for their engagement and continued support throughout what I’m sure you’ll agree has been an incredibly challenging 24 months.

“That is why I am pleased to announce that subject to the necessary approvals, Direct Payments will be paid on 1 September in full to help farmers with cash flow issues caused by the various market disturbances.

DAERA Minister Edwin Poots MLA pictured at Balmoral 2022 (L-R) with RUAS President, Christine Adams and RUAS Vice President, John Henning.

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“The most concerning of which is the worsening humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.

“I very much hope that a resolution can be found as soon as possible but the effects are not short term. Ukraine and Russia are major players in the world market and Northern Ireland producers are facing an unprecedented rise in input costs with feed, fertiliser and fuel rising by 30%, 200% and 50% respectively.

“This simply cannot be absorbed by farm businesses.

“This ultimately undermines confidence throughout the industry and will lead to a contraction in production due to mounting losses if the situation is not corrected very soon.

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DAERA Minister Edwin Poots MLA pictured Balmoral 2022 (L-R) with NIAPA Chairman James Lowe, DAERA Permanent Secretary Katrina Godfrey and UFU President David Brown.

“I have therefore written to the DEFRA Secretary of State George Eustice to urgently consider a range of measures, including financial assistance for UK farmers to support them through this crisis.

“I will also be raising these issues on Monday at a meeting with all the UK Agriculture Ministers.”

Continuing, the Minister said: “I am looking forward to continue to work strategies and policies that are vitally important to the sustainability of our agriculture, environment and rural sectors.

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“I am committed to continuing to work in partnership with all our stakeholders to address the many challenges we face.”

The Minster concluded: “I want to thank everyone for their ongoing support in our vision of sustainability at the heart of a living, working, active landscape valued by everyone.

“The past two years have demonstrated how, through partnership working, we can meet many challenges, and I have every confidence that, with the same vigour and determination already demonstrated, that we can succeed in the future.

“I would like to wish all visitors an enjoyable week at the Show and I wish the RUAS a very successful Balmoral Show over the next few days.”