Revealed - Locations of 5,000 farms under 10 hectares that could be denied payments under new proposal
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The West Tyrone MLA said over 92 per cent of people, who responded to the recent Future Agricultural Policy consultation, rejected a proposal for an area based resilience payment, with a minimum claim size of 10 hectares.
Mr McAleer commented: “The DUP minister’s plans undermine our small family farms, ignore our sheep farmers, and penalise those who farm our hills and mountains.
“Under these proposals 5,000 small farms, sized below 10 hectares, will be denied funding, including 450 farms in my constituency of West Tyrone.
“This is totally unfair and must be scrapped.”
Mr McAleer, who is chairperson of Stormont’s agriculture committee, requested a breakdown, by constituency, of the farm businesses in Northern Ireland under 10 hectares.
In response, the Agriculture Minister shared a table which sets out the number of farm businesses that declared fields for the Basic Payment Scheme with a total maximum eligible area of less than 10 hectares for the 2021 scheme year, broke down by constituency.
The table reads as follows:
Belfast East – 14
Belfast North, South, and West – 7
East Antrim - 133
East Londonderry - 254
Fermanagh and South Tyrone - 744
Foyle - 30
Lagan Valley - 195
Mid Ulster - 706
Newry and Armagh - 806
North Antrim - 405
North Down - 17
South Antrim - 181
South Down - 587
Strangford - 176
Upper Bann - 166
West Tyrone - 443
Total - 4,864