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Gildernew announces issue of Less Favoured Area payments in September

22 August, 2007


Sinn Féin Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew has confirmed that balance LFA payments for 2007 will be made to most farmers in September.

A part area payment was made in March of this year. The balance of the area based payment and any cattle bonus due will issue to over 90 % of the 15,000 claimants in September.

The Minister said:

"I am grateful to the Assembly Committee for convening on 21st August during the recess to consider the necessary subordinate legislation. That enables payments to issue in September rather than October, ensuring timely support to farmers."

The subordinate legislation has now been made and, subject to Assembly clearance, will come into operation on 12 September. Payments will then start.

The department has moved quickly to complete the necessary arrangements for these payments, following the EU Commission's approval of the Rural Development Programme.

NOTES TO EDITORS:

  1. The Less Favoured Area Compensatory Allowance (LFACA) compensates those farmers for lower returns from less productive land such as on hill farms, compared to that from lowland.
  2. The annual area based payment made is £40 for each hectare in areas considered severely disadvantaged; £20 per hectare in disadvantaged area and £20 per hectare of common land. The balances to be paid for 2007 are £17.20, £8.60 and £8.60 per hectare respectively.
  3. Eligible Suckler producers receive a cattle bonus of 25% of their area payment.
  4. The Department was unable to make full payment for 2007 in March as usual because the Rural Development Programme, of which the LFACA scheme is part, had not been approved by the European Commission.
  5. The Regulations enabling the balance payment and the cattle bonus were made on 22nd August and, subject to the Assembly acceptance, will come into operation on 12th September.

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