The Green, Low Carbon, Agri-environment Scheme (GLAS) balancing payments for 2020 will begin issuing this week to 43,400 farmers.
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue said the move means payments will arrive ahead of schedule this year.
“I am very pleased to be commencing these GLAS balancing payments ahead of schedule to over 43,400 farmers,” the Minister added.
“There are more farmers than last year receiving the payment at this stage and this €27m will reward those who continue to make environmental improvements on their farms.
“The payments will be issued to 90% of GLAS participants and will reach farmer’s bank accounts this week.”
GLAS is an agri-environment scheme under the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 which sets out to reward farmers through annual payments for farming in an environmentally friendly way.
Meanwhile, the total payments made to date in respect of GLAS amounts to €990m; 90% of GLAS participants have now been paid in full.
The latest payment represents the final 15% of the 2020 payment and completes the total payment for GLAS actions undertaken last year.
Minister McConalogue also pointed to the 95% level of uptake by GLAS Tranche 1 and 2 participants on the one-year extension of their contracts.
The extension allows for the movement of the final date of these contracts from December 31, 2020 to December 31, 2021.
“The significant level of uptake of 95% ensures that the environmental dividends being delivered by GLAS Tranche 1 and 2 participants continue during 2021 and that GLAS payments will continue to issue to this cohort of over 33,500 farmers in respect of 2021,” the Minister said.
“It is also worth noting that a further 13,000 continue to participate in Tranche 3 of this agri-environment scheme during 2021 in accordance with their original contracts.”