‘Not everyone will get advance payments’

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Ulster Unionist MLA Rosemary Barton has welcomed the announcement that a significant proportion of farmers will receive their advance CAP payments this month.

Mrs Barton said that given the extremely poor weather conditions that have prevailed for some months and the volatile agri markets it is a welcome relief for many farmers that the advance CAP finance will arrive with them this month.

She added: “However there are many farmers who will not receive any payments this month due to farm inspections that have not been complete, or in some cases the paperwork has not been complete by DAERA staff.

“I am aware of one farmer who has had three land inspections in as many months. It appears that when DAERA see something slightly unusual on the satellite imagery they have an inspection carried out. How they manage to notice three different issues that require clarification during validation at three different points of time over a period of three months remains unanswered. It certainly doesn’t appear to be an efficient system.

“I understand DAERA officials are time pressed as it is, but when they have to return to the same farm on three separate occasions for similar inspections in the matter of a few months raises serious questions,” Mrs Barton added.

“Obviously this will delay the CAP payment to these farmers affected by such inspections.”

Payments started to reach farmers’ bank accounts on, Thursday 19 October.

Further payments will be made on a daily basis throughout October. Balance payments, or full payments for those unable to receive an advance payment, will be made from 1 December 2017.