Last-minute scram­ble on BPS ap­pli­ca­tions

Irish Independent - Farming - - NEWS -

FARM con­sul­tants and Tea­gasc staff will be burn­ing the mid­night oil this week as up to 40,000 Ba­sic Pay­ment Scheme (BPS) ap­pli­ca­tions re­main to be sub­mit­ted.

This is the first year of a ex­clu­sively on­line process for BPS and the De­part­ment of Agri­cul­ture has al­ready re­ceived 90,000 ap­pli­ca­tions.

How­ever, 130,000 ap­pli­ca­tions are due to be made in to­tal for the €1.2bn BPS pack­age be­fore next Tues­day’s (May 15) clos­ing date.

Ap­pli­ca­tions for the scheme have been run­ning smoothly to date, ac­cord­ing to ACA pres­i­dent Owen O’Driscoll.

Mr O’Driscoll said ap­pli­ca­tions were “well on track” and that changes to the De­part­ment’s IT sys­tem had worked well.

Dif­fi­cul­ties have been raised re­gard­ing ap­pli­ca­tions by farm­ers who are in GLAS but the ACA pres­i­dent said these is­sues had been flagged with the De­part­ment.

Some farm con­sul­tants ad­mit­ted that get­ting farmer clients to come in and fill out the BPS ap­pli­ca­tion has proven the big­gest chal­lenge so far.

“Farm­ers are un­der sav­age pres­sure at the mo­ment, but you have to gen­tly re­mind them that this is most prof­itable few hours’ work they’ll do in the round of the year,” one ad­vi­sor in the west com­mented this week.

The ICMSA deputy pres­i­dent, Lor­can McCabe, ap­pealed to farm­ers to make room for the BPS ap­pli­ca­tion process.

While ac­cept­ing that many farm­ers were “burned out” af­ter the “gru­elling win­ter and spring”, Mr McCabe ap­pealed to them to pri­ori­tise the BPS ap­pli­ca­tion.

“I would just urge farm­ers now to make the ap­point­ment with their ad­vi­sor, get their data to­gether and get this done. It’s supremely im­por­tant,” he said.

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