Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Minister Michelle McIlveen has announced that the exchange rate to be used to calculate 2016 Direct Payments is €1 = £0.85228p.
On the basis of the new rate, it is estimated that the total net value of 2016 Direct Payment to local farmers will be boosted by £39million compared to 2015.
Announcing the exchange rate, the Minister highlighted her intention to make advance payments this year.
She said: “This exchange rate is an increase on last year’s rate and will be welcome news for local farm businesses as it will boost the amount of Direct Payment received in what has been a difficult year for our farmers.
“The Direct Payment remains an important element of farm incomes and I have committed to delivering advance payments in mid-October. My Department remains on track to achieve this.”
Direct Payments are set in Euro and converted to sterling each year using the exchange rate calculated in accordance with the EU regulations. In 2016, the rate is the average market rate for the month of September according to the European Central Bank.