Payments worth €185m - under the 2020 Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC) Scheme - have begun issuing to 86,000 farmers.
Payments will include an 85% advance while the 15% balancing payments will commence in early December.
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue said he was “conscious” of the many challenges faced by farmers during 2020 and highlighted the importance of the timely delivery of payments under the scheme.
“The issuing of these payments now underscores my determination to maximise payments to farmers at the earliest possible time,” he added.
“My department has recently written to all farmers to outline the timetable for payments under various schemes in the coming months and our focus remains on delivering these payments on schedule.”
Meanwhile, the Minister has also confirmed that arrangements to facilitate payment of the advance of 70% under the Basic Payment Scheme - with effect from October 16, next - “are on target”.
However, as in previous years, not all ANC applications are currently cleared for payment. There are a number of farmers who have yet to satisfy the annual average stocking density of 0.15 livestock units per forage hectare for the calendar year.
As a result, affected farmers have until December 31 to address the matter.
“Regular pay runs will continue in the coming weeks to ensure cleared cases are processed for payment as quickly as possible,” added Minister McConalogue.
“Farmers should submit any outstanding stocking evidence in support of their application to the Department’s Portlaoise Office as soon as possible to facilitate the early release of payments.”