Farmers in Ireland are concerned about delays in farm payments, with input costs at an all-time high. Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on agriculture, Claire Kerrane, has criticised the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) for pushing back the dates for payments relating to Areas of Natural Constraints (ANC) and Basic Income Support for Sustainability (BISS). According to DAFM, ANC payments will be delayed until October 17, while BISS payments will be made from October 24, two weeks later than usual. Deputy Kerrane has called for urgent action to avoid payment delays and ensure farmers receive critical income supports on time.
Deputy Kerrane has raised the issue with Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue. The minister has reportedly explained that the delay is due to the first year of the new Common Agriculture Policy (CAP). However, Deputy Kerrane has argued that more needs to be done by the department to avoid payment delays. She has called on the minister to take action to ensure that farmers are paid on time in September and October, as they have been previously.
The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has also rejected DAFM’s proposals to delay payments for farm schemes. IFA president Tim Cullinan has called on the minister to provide assurance to farmers that their payments will be on the same dates as last year. The delays have caused concern among farmers, who are struggling with high input costs and uncertain market conditions.
In addition to payment delays, farmers are also concerned about a new satellite mapping process that is being rolled out. Under the new system, farmers will be required to take a geotag photograph and upload it to an app if an issue is raised by the satellite. Deputy Kerrane has warned that this could be problematic for some farmers and has called for better communication before the system is implemented in June.
The issue of farm payments is a critical one for Irish farmers, who rely on these payments to support their livelihoods. The delays have caused frustration and concern, with many farmers calling for urgent action to ensure that they receive their payments on time. The government has a responsibility to support farmers and ensure that they can continue to produce high-quality food for the country and beyond.