BPS

  • The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., has given an update in relation to online applications for the 2018 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS).

    The Minister says “Online applications offer a range of benefits for farmers and also help the Department to issue these vital payments more efficiently. He said he is delighted to see that a large number of farmers have already applied online since I announced the early opening of the 2018 application period.  Almost 35,000 farmers have already made their online applications, compared to a total of just 21,000 applications received at this stage last year.”

    The Minister added “In order to support farmers in applying online, the Department has been rolling out a range of technical supports for farmers. This will ensure that all farmers can access these vital financial supports.”

    Continuing, Minister Creed said “Staff from my Department are available to meet with farmers on a one-to-one basis in various locations throughout the country to assist them in making their applications. These clinics have proven very successful to date and farmers can sit down with an official from my Department and make their online BPS or Transfer of Entitlements applications on the spot. Already over one fifth of the small minority of farmers who applied in paper format last year have made the transition to an online application. It is important to ensure that this momentum is now maintained, and the 1 to 1 clinics offer farmers the opportunity to make the move to online efficiently.”

    In the coming week clinics will be available in Buncrana, Ballybofey, Roscommon, Sligo, Rosscarbery, Fermoy, Dungarvan, Bunclody, and Ballinasloe. A full list of all the clinics over the coming weeks is available on the Department’s website at:

    https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/bpsonlineclinics2018/

    Should farmers wish to contact the Department in relation to their online application they can do so at:

    • 076 1064424 in relation to queries on registering for www.agfood.ie – for example queries on lost passwords, how to register etc., or
    • 076 1064420 in relation to queries on actually completing the BPS application once registered on www.agfood.ie or to enquire about the one-to-one clinics.

     

  • ICMSA Deputy President Lorcan McCabe has advised farmers that the preliminary checks system for BPS applications aimed at notifying applicants of any non-compliance in the areas of overclaims, dual claims, and overlaps is currently under way and will close in the next week.  Mr McCabe said that farmers can rectify any such non-compliance by the deadline of midnight 19 June with no penalty applied where the non-compliance issue is fully rectified by that date. He said that ICMSA is urging all farmers to check their BPS online accounts immediately. 

    “Where a farmer is signed up for text message alerts, a text will issue to advise them that they have a notification on their BPS account.  All notifications and responses can only be made via the online BPS system”, he said, going on to point out that given that there was 100% online BPS application in 2018, these checks should benefit to farmers by increasing the efficiency with which BPS applications can be processed, ICMSA has repeatedly stressed that there should be no delay in informing farmers if there is a further issue with their application and this must be done as soon as possible so that farmers can respond and get the issue resolved well in advance of the payment date.  

    “In the context of the extremely difficult year farmers have had to date, it’s critical that the ANC payment is made in September, the BPS payment in October and that all farmers must receive their payment within the Farmers Charter timeframe commitment. We do also think that the Minister for Agriculture, Food & Marine must seek the maximum possible advance payment as cashflow is - and will continue to be  - a major issue on farms and it would help massively if a 70% advance payment at a minimum is secured”,  said Mr McCabe.

     

  • The Minister for Agriculture has announced details of Online Clinics which will be held across the region in April, to assist farmers to submit their Basic Payment Scheme and Transfer of Entitlements applications online.

    Farmers can meet on a one-to-one basis with Department staff who will assist them in making their BPS application.

    Under EU regulations, all applications must now be submitted online, and the application process is open since February.

    BPS online clinics are being held across the region where farmers can meet one-to-one with a member of staff from the Department, and make their Basic Payment Scheme application there and then.

    A clinic will be held at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Sligo next Friday 5th April, at the Twin Trees Hotel, Ballina on Wed 10th April, at the Oranmore Lodge Hotel in Oranmore, Galway on Friday 12th April and the Shearwater Hotel in Ballinasloe the following Tuesday 16th April, and at the McWilliam Park Hotel in Claremorris on Tuesday 30th April - the clinics will run from 9am to 3pm.

    Further online clinics are planned for Galway, Roscommon and Mayo during the month of May.

    Minister Michael Creed is urging farmers to avail of the opportunity to apply for the BPS with the assistance of Department staff.

    Farmers with queries in relation to completing the BPS apaplication online can also ring the Department at 076 - 1064420.

     

  • A Sligo TD has called on the Government to pay farmers the majority of their agricultural payments which are now overdue.

    Fianna Fail TD Eamon Scanlon raised the issue in the Dail in regards to the Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme and the Basic Payments Scheme.

    Farmers had until the 15th of May to send in applications to the schemes and Deputy Scanlon has had up to 100 farmers ring him to say they are yet to be inspected for the ANC and BPS schemes.

    The payment lodgement dates for the two schemes were September and October respectively and some farmers are still waiting for inspections to avail of the agricultural payments.

    Deputy Scanlon told Midwest News that the Government must pay out the majority of payments to farmers while they wait for inspections to be conducted.