O’Neill urges Antrim farming community to attend Greenmount CAP roadshow

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Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill has called on the Co Antrim farming community to attend the forthcoming DARD roadshows on CAP reform at the Greenmount Campus, on Thursday 26 March 2015 at 2pm and 7pm.

On 31 December 2014, the Single Farm Payment (SFP) Scheme came to an end and was replaced by new Direct Payments made up of a Basic Payment Scheme, a payment for Greening and, where applicable, a Young Farmers’ Payment. The Minister decided to replace the Less Favoured Areas Compensatory Allowances Scheme (LFACA) with an Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC) scheme and a one year transitional payment (for Disadvantaged Area farmers, who are not eligible for the new ANC).

Minister O’Neill said: “This year sees the introduction of new complex schemes as a result of the European Commission’s reform of CAP, and with the opening of the 2015 Single Application Form (SAF) process later this month it is essential that famers have the correct information so has to make informed decisions.

“My department and I have been engaging with the farming community throughout the CAP reform process and the roadshows at Greenmount Campus are a continuation of that engagement. They will cover all areas of CAP Reform, in particular providing information on land eligibility and the eligibility requirements for applicants.

“My officials will also advise on the application process and explain the benefits of using the online service, in addition to providing farmers with the opportunity to ask questions on specific areas of interest. I would therefore urge famers and their families to attend one of the roadshows in advance of completing their SAF this year.”