£301,755,000 in Direct Payments will be issued on Monday
A total of £301,755,000 in Direct Payments will issue to Northern Ireland farmers on the first day of payments for 2021 – the largest amount ever to be paid out on day one.
Payments will issue to 23,393 farmers (98 per cent of eligible applicants) on 18 October.
This includes 91 per cent of farm businesses selected for inspection in 2021.
Announcing the payments, Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots said: “I am delighted to confirm that 98 per cent of local farmers will be issued a total of £301million in Direct Payments on 18 October.
“As a result of exiting the EU, this is the second year the department has been able to issue payments in one go, which in turn has represented the largest amount ever issued by my department on the first day of payments.
“As I announced at the Balmoral Show, payments have been increased by 6.29 per cent this year to ensure that all funding ring-fenced for this purpose is used.”
Minister Poots continued: “I wish to express my thanks to staff within my department who have worked diligently to ensure that hard-pressed farming families receive these vital payments as soon as possible.
“These payments represent the bulk of farm businesses’ annual income.
“Maximising payments issued on day one improves the financial viability of these businesses and the wider rural economy.”
The small number of remaining applications will continue to be verified by DAERA, with payments being released daily from 18 October onwards.
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) has described it as “good news” that will be well received by members.
UFU president, Victor Chestnutt, stated: “This equates to 98 percent of eligible applicants and includes 91 percent of farm businesses that were selected to undergo inspection. “The payments are crucial in helping to sustain family farming businesses across NI.
“This year’s increase will help elevate financial pressures due to rising input costs, ensuring farmers can continue to produce the high-quality, environmentally friendly food we all expect.”