Hard pessed Donegal farmers who have been battling against remarkably poor summer weather conditions got some relief this afternoon with confirmation from Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, TD that agreement has been reached on an advance payment to them.
Minister Coveney said: “Agreement has been reached in Brussels today which provides for an advance payment under the 2012 Single Payment Scheme. “I am very pleased at the level of support evident at today’s meeting, the Minister said, adding “This will now allow us to make advance payments, at a rate of 50%, to those applicants whose applications are confirmed fully clear, with effect from 16 October, with balancing payments being made with effect from 1 December”.
The Minister explained that his approach to the Agriculture Commissioner had been prompted by the very wet weather experienced throughout June and July, which has led to severe difficulties for farmers, particularly in silage-making and which has also required the housing of animals, with the attendant additional costs of buying-in feed, together with the ongoing cash-flow difficulties affecting farming and the wider community.
“Being acutely aware of the significance to farmers and the wider rural economy of the Single Payment, and mindful of the ongoing financial crisis, I have been particularly concerned at the difficulties caused for farmers by the adverse weather of the past seven weeks” the Minister said, noting that the total value of the advance payments which will begin issuing as and from 16 October, the first day of the new EU financial year, will release payments worth some €600 million. “The benefit in making these payments six weeks earlier than otherwise provided for under the existing rules of the scheme will be particularly beneficial at this time” the Minister said.