The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and Dundee)
Get SAF and BES applications in on time, urges Ewing
Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing yesterday issued a plea to farmers and crofters to get their Single Application Forms (SAF) in as soon as possible.
Mr Ewing said that as of Tuesday, the Scottish Government had received 16,787 SAF applications, which compares to 14,162 applications at the same time last year.
He urged producers not to leave it until the last minute to submit their SAFs, which must be in by next Wednesday.
Beef producers were also urged to submit applications for the new Beef Efficiency Scheme (BES), which also has a deadline of June 15.
“We are well on track to get all applications in on time for the 2016 SAF and BES,” Mr Ewing said.
“We know the last seven days of the SAF window are traditionally the busiest – with almost 6,500 of last year’s SAFs submitted in the final week before the deadline.
“Although we are way ahead of that tally this year, farmers and crofters should not leave it until the last minute to get their forms in.”
He said resolving problems paying out last year’s payments remained his first and foremost priority.
“I am well aware that the resolution of the CAP payments will not be achieved overnight, but I do not want to see a repeat of the problems we have faced over this past year, and it is one of my main objectives to see that the 2016 payments are on a proper footing,” added Mr Ewing.
The Government’s chief agricultural officer, David Barnes, said producers wanting to apply for the beef scheme must do this online on the ScotEID website, and provided all the correction information is to hand, the process should only take about 15 minutes.
He added: “If you do need any help with either application, or encounter any issues, then support is available from local area offices.”