O’Neill: protect your Single Farm Payment entitlements
Agriculture and Rural Development Minister, Michelle O’Neill today reminded farmers of the rule governing the activation of Single Farm Payment (SFP) entitlements.
Every farmer has to have an entitlement for each hectare of eligible land they wish to claim. The EU regulations require farmers to activate each of their SFP entitlements at least once every two years. If they are not, they may be taken from them.
Urging farmers to make sure they complied with this particular rule the Minister commented: "In these challenging economic times, it is especially important that farmers maximise their payment of SFP and take any appropriate steps to preserve their full entitlement in the future. My Department will be writing to farmers over the coming days to remind them to check that they are activating each of their SFP entitlements at least once every two years.”
The Minister added that vast majority of recipients of the reminder letter will not lose any entitlements as the Department automatically activates those entitlements which farm businesses could lose if they are not activated in 2012. She said: “When farmers receive these letters they should check their own individual circumstances and satisfy themselves that they are complying with the rule about activating their entitlements. As long as they activate enough eligible hectares, my Department will, where possible, automatically activate for them any entitlements that might be at risk in 2012.”
Farmers who do not expect to have enough eligible land to activate the entitlements not activated in 2011 may wish to consider transferring these to another farm business which could activate them in 2012.