Revealed - Locations of 5,000 farms under 10 hectares that could be denied payments under new proposal

Sinn Féin’s Declan McAleer has branded the Agriculture Minister’s plan for the future of farming “unfair”, as it will deny payments to almost 5,000 small farms.
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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