£286.9 million in Direct Payments issued six weeks earlier by DAERA

It has been confirmed that £286.9 million in Direct Payments to Northern Ireland farmers has been issued on 1 September this year, the news was confirmed earlier this week by Agriculture Minister, Edwin Poots MLA.

Minister Poots said: “The ongoing disruption to agricultural markets, in particular due to the situation in Ukraine, is having a huge impact on farm businesses in Northern Ireland. To help them with cash flow, annual payments have commenced six weeks earlier than previous years.

“I am pleased to confirm that £286.9 million has issued to 23,208 farmers on 1 September. This is only possible because we have left the European Union and can now make decisions to suit local needs.”

The minister continued: “I am also pleased to announce that there has again been a one-off increase in Basic Payment Scheme payments, to ensure that all funding ring-fenced for this purpose is used. The increase in 2022 will be 2.04%.”

DUP's Edwin Poots at the Titanic Exhibition Centre in Belfast after being returned as an MLA for the Northern Ireland Assembly.

£286.9 million has issued to 23,208 farmers (97% of eligible applicants) on the first day of payments.

“The small number of remaining applications will continue to be verified by DAERA, with payments being released daily from 1 September onwards. Payments will be the full payment due for 2022. Payment letters will issue by post to all customers but can also be viewed online immediately via DAERA Online Services.”

The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) says it is positive news that £286.9 million in direct payments has been paid to Northern Ireland farmers, including a one-off increase in Basic Payment Scheme entitlements of over two percent. The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) Minister Edwin Poots made the announcement earlier today (1 September), that 97 percent of local farmers will have received payment six weeks earlier than previous years.

UFU president David Brown said: “The news that over 23,000 farmers have obtained their direct payments in full is extremely positive and will be well received by members. I would like to thank DAERA and Minister Poots for the prompt payment to farmers which provides necessary financial support for our farming families at a time when on-farm input costs continue to rise. This payment will assist farmers cash flow, helping to sustain farm businesses as they continue to produce high-quality food to the highest standards.

“The remaining applicants are being treated with urgency so that our farmers can receive their payments as quickly as possible and will be released daily from 1 September onwards.”