Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill has announced that DARD has commenced the release of Area of Natural Constraint (ANC) Scheme 2016 payments.
The Minister also announced the target to pay 95% of eligible ANC payments by the end of March 2016 would be met. These payments are a significant boost to the rural economy and in particular to those farmers who face constraints brought about by farming in less favoured areas.
Welcoming the commencement of payments, the Minister commented: “The increase in the number of claims made via DARD’s online system in 2015 and the commitment of DARD staff has contributed to this payment performance.
“I would once again strongly encourage farmers to go online themselves or ask their agent or form filler to complete the claim online on their behalf. It’s a good way to avoid mistakes compared with paper and crucially it will speed up payments to farmers overall.”
The telephone number in order to obtain the Government Gateway ID and password is (028) 9442 6699 and DARD staff will be happy to assist farmers or agents who enquire.
The ANC Scheme replaced the Less Favoured Area Compensatory Allowances (LFACA) Scheme and forms part of the Rural Development Programme (RDP), providing a payment to farmers in constrained areas.