The Ulster Farmers’ Union says the news that 97 per cent of farmers have received an advance CAP payment is welcome and will help with farm business cash flow.
UFU president Ivor Ferguson said: “The fact that advanced payments have been made to farmers three years running and last year’s record has been bested is a credit to both DAERA and the industry.
“We are often critical of DAERA, and rightly so, but I have no hesitation in saying this is a job well done,” said Mr Ferguson. “Again, Northern Ireland is the only region in the UK in a position to make early payments. Our system is works well and reflects positively on the efforts DAERA and industry have made,” he said.
The UFU says the initial payment of over £190 million will be a big financial boost for farmers, but also for the rural towns and villages across Northern Ireland where money will be spent by farming families.
“We can’t underestimate the importance of these payments to farm businesses and the rural economy,” said Mr Ferguson.
He adds that the UFU is aware a number of farmers have not received advance payments for various reasons.
“We want to see DAERA applying the same effort to sorting out these outstanding claims as it has demonstrated in getting early payments out. Ensuring these farmers receive payments in full at the beginning of December, along with the balance for everyone else who has already received an advanced payment,” says the UFU president.
This week DAERA announced that the payments were made to 23,278 farm businesses totalling £190million, and represent an increase on 2017 payments.