Speaking following a meeting between ICMSA and senior officials of the Department of Agriculture, Food & Marine, Mr. John Comer, Deputy President and Chairperson of ICMSA’s Farm Services and Environment Committee, said that the ongoing delay in the payment of the Disadvantaged Areas Payment to farmers is totally unacceptable and he called on the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine, Mr. Simon Coveney to immediately resolve the situation.
Mr Comer pointed out that farmers rely on these payments to meet annual bills and their bill-payment schedules are structured around these payment dates. “As per the Farmers Charter, farmers expect the Disadvantaged Area Scheme payment in September and the first instalment of the Single Farm Payment in mid October. Any delay in these payment leads to problems for the individual farmers in question and unfortunately, our banks are showing very little understanding regarding late payments. While we accept that the situation in 2011 has improved on 2010 that is precious little consolation for those farm families still awaiting payment. It is up to Minister Coveney to resolve the situation and we advise any farmer who has received correspondence from the Department to respond immediately so that his or her application can be finalised and payment issued”, stated the Deputy President.
In his capacity as Chairman of ICMSA Farm Services Committee, Mr Comer also called on the Minister to extend the slurry spreading cut-off point beyond 15 October in view of the extremely wet weather conditions that have applied in many areas right through Summer and into the Autumn. It would alleviate much stress and worry for farmers if, in view of those desperately unfavourable conditions, Minister Coveney would extend the date and allow the affected farmers to spread slurry as conditions hopefully improved.
Ends 11 October 2011.
John Comer, 087-2057846
Deputy President, ICMSA.
Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758
ICMSA Press Office