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Dard Updates UFU On Single Farm Payments

by 5m Editor
23 February 2007, at 2:45pm

NORTHERN IRELAND - Single Farm Payments for 2006 are ahead of schedule and remaining applications are being processed as quickly as possible.

This was the main message from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD), when officials met with representatives from the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) today to discuss progress on the 2006 Single Payment applications.

A department spokesperson said: “We are making good progress and are ahead of schedule, having now made full payments to 86% (34,395) of applicants equivalent to £180million. Our staff are committed to making full payments as quickly as possible, however remaining applications are subject to queries which need to be resolved before payment can be made.

“We understand that farmers want their payments as soon as possible and where there are delays, expect up-to-date information on progress with their application.

“We appreciate the need for good communication with farmers regarding their payments and we have in place a dedicated/special Helpline, Tel. 028 7131 9900, specifically for this purpose.

"The department will continue its dialogue with the UFU in how the communication process can be improved. Wherever possible we want to make compliance easier and that is why we recently issued advice reminding farmers to update their farm maps.

"The reality is that resolution of mapping issues, which are a major source of queries on applications, take up administrative time and slow down payment. We want to help farmers avoid any unnecessary delays in 2007.”

To further assist farmers with compliance, the department has also rolled-out a series of workshops, run by farmers for farmers and has provided a summary of compliance requirements.

5m Editor