The Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) has advised the Department of Agriculture that farmers are in critical need of timely issuing of farm-payment schemes.
ICMSA deputy president Pat McCormack has urged the department to avoid repeating the inordinately long delays which some farmers experienced in 2015.
The Basic Payment Scheme is due to be paid by October 16, while farmers are due to receive the ANC (formerly Disadvantaged Areas Scheme) payment by the third week in September.
The ICMSA says that, under the Farmers Charter, the department is committed to have all problems dealt with by September 15.
To ensure prompt payments, the farmer group says all applications, including entitlement transfers, should be processed by the end of August and letters issued to those farmers deemed to have issues requiring resolution.
“The department have had applications since as early as last February and all applications since May 15 and we don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect that any problems would be identified and notified to the farmers by the end of August with the problems being resolved by the department by the middle of September,” said Mr McCormack.
“For a number of years now, individual farmers have experienced very considerable delays in payment that have caused absolute chaos in terms of cashflow and repayment schedules, in the context of the income wipeout experienced by dairy farmers this year, we’re stating categorically that these kinds of chaotic delays cannot be repeated as farmers just don’t have any room to manoeuvre after the last 18 months.”
He said timely payment will be an acid test for how seriously the department takes the Farmers Charter.
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