O’Neill announces value of Basic Payment Scheme entitlements

Agriculture Minister Michelle O'Neill
Agriculture Minister Michelle O'Neill

Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill has announced that the 2019 Regional Average entitlement under the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) (including the Greening Payment) will be €330.42 per hectare and the rate for Young Farmers’ Payment in 2015 will be €81.28 per hectare.

All BPS entitlements will converge towards the Regional Average entitlement value in equal steps over the next seven years. The BPS entitlement ceiling has been scaled back by 3.30% to provide funding for the Regional Reserve, which is mainly used to allocate entitlements to farm businesses which qualify as new entrants or young farmers.

Confirming the rate for BPS entitlements for 2015 Minister O’Neill said: “I am pleased to announce that the value of the 2019 Regional Average entitlement for BPS, including the greening payment, will be €330.42 per hectare. I know that many farmers will welcome the fact that the scaleback for the Regional Reserve is relatively low at 3.30%.

“Farmers will be notified of their entitlement value in the coming weeks. This information will be eagerly awaited by farmers given the present difficult climate the industry is operating under.”

Regarding the Top-Up Rate for Young Farmers’ Payments for 2015, Minister O’Neill said: “The Young Farmers’ Payment will provide a welcome boost to the local farming community with successful applicants sharing €6.5million in funding.

“Farm Businesses who successfully applied for a Young Farmers’ Payment in 2015 will receive a rate of €81.28 per hectare. This rate is payable on a maximum of 90 hectares per year and for a maximum period of five years.

“The Young Farmers’ Payment will help to safeguard the development of a well skilled and professional farming industry. This payment is aimed at providing support for young farmers in their first five years and to encourage a new generation of farmers. I am pleased to secure this level of support which will help safeguard the future of farming in the north.”

Entitlement notification letters will begin to issue to farm businesses from 13 November 2015.