The Ulster Farmers’ Union is reminding farmers who have received an application for the Disadvantaged Areas Transitional Scheme that they must submit their claim no later than 5pm on the 13th March 2015.
Under the CAP reform arrangements DA land will not be eligible for the new Areas of Natural Constraint Scheme (replacing LFACA) which will only be available on SDA land.
In response to this the NI Executive agreed to introduce a one year transition payment for those farmers no longer eligible to receive support on their DA land.
The TPDA Scheme will be funded by the NI Executive under de minimis state aid rules and will amount to a payment of £14.40/ha. Both DA and SDA participants of the 2015 LFACA scheme (claimed in 2014) can expect to receive payment in March 2015, while the separate and additional payment from the TPDA scheme is likely to be made in early summer.
In order to be eligible for the TPDA scheme farmers must have submitted a claim for the 2015 LFACA Scheme (claimed in 2014) on last years Single Application form and this information will be used to calculate the level of payment which will be made under the TPDA scheme. Farmers should also be mindful that they must answer the question on the claim form as to whether they have received de minimis funding or not in the last three years.
Further to this, under EU state aid rules there is a requirement for farmers to notify DARD if they have previously received de minimis state aid in any of the previous three financial years.
If farmers have received any de minimis state aid from DARD (eg. Snow Hardship and Fodder Schemes) in the past three years they are asked to declare this on the form and to tick the relevant boxes and complete the tables on the application form.
The maximum amount of agricultural de minimis state aid allowed to be granted within a three year period is €15,000 and it is very unlikely that any farmer will have exceeded this particular threshold. Where anyone has received any other de minimis state aid funding from another government department within the last three years (maximum €200,000) there is also a legal obligation to declare this.
Examples of other sources of de minimis state funding are Invest NI, Intertrade Ireland, the Carbon Trust, councils, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Renewable Heat Incentive.