Dig­i­tal ditches could hit farm­ers in the pocket

Irish Independent - Farming - - NEWS -

PROB­LEMS re­lat­ing to the re-digi­tis­ing of land parcels sub­mit­ted un­der the Ba­sic Pay­ment Scheme (BPS) in 2017 are re­sult­ing in farm­ers los­ing en­ti­tle­ments to the na­tional re­serve, re­ports De­clan O’Brien

“In re­cent days we’ve had ICMSA mem­bers rais­ing con­cerns in re­la­tion to the re-digi­ti­sa­tion of 2017 ap­pli­ca­tions af­ter the 2018 clos­ing date. Farm­ers are now in dan­ger of los­ing en­ti­tle­ments due to non-us­age and their 2018 pay­ment is also pos­si­bly go­ing to be de­layed,” Lor­can McCabe told the Farm­ing In­de­pen­dent.

With BPS pay­ments due out next Tues­day, Mr McCabe, ICMSA deputy pres­i­dent, said any threat­ened de­lay or re­duc­tion in sup­ports was a se­ri­ous con­cern for farm­ers.

“This is just un­ac­cept­able: you can’t pay a par­tic­i­pant and then a year later al­ter your de­ci­sion with­out giv­ing the farmer any op­por­tu­nity to rem­edy the prob­lem. Pay­ments are due on Tues­day, Oc­to­ber 16, and this digi­ti­sa­tion is­sue needs to be re­solved im­me­di­ately in a way whereby no farmer should suf­fer a loss of en­ti­tle­ments,” Mr McCabe said.

“Re­mem­ber that un­der the Farm­ers Char­ter, the De­part­ment is com­mit­ted ‘to have all prob­lems dealt with by Septem­ber 15. But prob­lems are com­ing to light for farm­ers now and it is es­sen­tial that these are re­solved in the next week,” he added.

Mr McCabe said ICMSA will raise the is­sue at the Farm­ers Char­ter Com­mit­tee meet­ing on Thurs­day (Oc­to­ber 11).

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