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Nitrates Miles – Scheme reaches 2,000th Farmer

11 October, 2007


Sinn Féin Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew MP MLA has marked the 2,000th approval for the nitrates scheme by visiting a successful farmer at his Tyrone farm.

During her visit to Brian Kirkland's farm at Dyan, Dungannon, the Minister issued him with his Farm Nutrient Management Scheme (FNMS) approval.

Ms Gildernew said:

"The achievement of this milestone in the FNMS scheme is a credit to everyone involved and it gives me great pleasure to issue the FNMS approval to Brian which will let him get his project off the ground."

The Minister also stressed the importance of farmers who have already received approval, getting their works completed.

She said: "While progress continues apace on the scheme, farmers should remember that the EU timetable is extremely tight and time is running out for farmers to get their work done and claims submitted. I encourage farmers who have already had their pre-approval inspection not to delay getting information back to DARD so that their approval can be issued.

"Farmers who have had their approval should get on with building work as soon as possible. There will be significant pressure on contracting capacity given the closing date of end of December 2008."

NOTES TO EDITORS

The Department received 4,890 applications to FNMS by the scheme closing date of 31 March 2006. To date 2,712 pre-approval inspections have been completed and today's approval marks the 2,000th issued.

Approvals have yet to be issued in respect of 2,695 applications and the objective is to have these issued by the end of March 2008.

A number of applicants receive their approval each day and Mr Kirkland's is not necessarily exactly the 2,000th issued.

The EU deadline is for all projects to be completed and claims for payment submitted by 31 December 2008. All claims have to be paid by 31 December 2009.

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