Gildernew asks farmers to help speed up Single Farm Payment process
Sinn Fein Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew MP MLA, has announced that farmers will receive their 2008 IACS/Single Application packs within the next few weeks.
Launching the 2008 Application round, the Minister said:
"I encourage farmers to take care when completing their forms and to get these back to the Department in good time and, if possible, well before the closing date of 15 May. I would also urge them, and those who complete forms on their behalf, to use the on-line application service. This gives up-to-date entitlement information and reduces the chances of making a mistake.
"In June last year, I gave farmers an opportunity to correct their maps. Area corrections add considerably to the processing of claims and the more of these that are avoided the better. My advice to farmers is to check that their most recent farm maps reflect the situation in their fields today. If not, they should use the GIS2 form, included in the application pack, to tell us of any changes, and ensure that their Single Application reflects the updated position."
"I want to take this opportunity to remind farmers that when completing their forms, they need to make sure that they declare all the land, including any forested land, on their holding, even if they are not claiming for that land."
The Minister also reminded farmers about the need to act quickly to remedy any errors on their Single Application form, saying that:
"If you discover after you have sent in your 2008 form that you have made a mistake or have used a map which is not up-to-date, tell DARD as soon as possible. If you do this before my Department finds the error or mistake, you will not be penalized for it.
"Getting your application right at the start avoids penalties and delay. The Department delivered many 2007 payments earlier than in 2006 and I want you to help us do better still this year." ENDS
NOTES TO EDITORS:
Farmers must complete a 2008 IACS /Single Application form to apply for 2008 Single Farm Payment, 2008 Aid for Energy Crops, 2008 Protein Crop Premium and 2009 Less Favoured Areas Compensatory Allowances.
For the first time, the form includes a section to allow farmers to register for Agricultural Waste Exemptions administered by the Department of the Environment.
The closing date for applications is 15 May 2008.
To use the on-line service, farmers need to register with DARD before 9 May 2008, so that we can provide a Personal Identification Number and authentication code. For more information on the on-line service and how to register, phone (028) 7131 9824.