FARMING

Carrickdale to host Basic Payment clinic for Louth farmers

Fergus O'Dowd has encouraged farmers to apply online

Barry Landy

Reporter:

Barry Landy

Email:

barry.landy@dundalkdemocrat.ie

Carrickdale to host Basic Payment clinic for Louth farmers

The Carrickdale Hotel in Ravensdale.

The Carrickdale Hotel will host a clinic to help local farmers with applications for the Basic Payment Scheme early next month. 

Staff from the Department of Education will be on hand to speak to farmers on a one-to-one basis to assist them in completing their applications, which must be made online. The online process has been open since early February. 

The clinic will be held on Tuesday April 3rd between 4pm and 7.30pm. 

"These clinics have proven successful in the past and farmers can sit down with an official from the Department and make their online BPS or Transfer of Entitlements applications on the spot," Fine Gael TD for Louth Fergus O'Dowd said. 

 "Online applications offer a range of benefits for farmers and also help the Department to issue these vital payments more efficiently.

"The recent growth in the number of online BPS applications shows more and more farmers are finding that the best way to apply for vital schemes such as BPS and ANC is online," he added. 

 According to the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed, 20,000 applications have already been made online this year - compared to just 3,500 for the same period last year. 

“From 2018 all the elements of the Direct Payments Schemes (BPS, Greening, Young Farmers Scheme, National Reserve, and Transferring of Entitlements) will be online.  This will help to ensure that the Department can process all applications under these schemes as efficiently as possible," O'Dowd concluded. 

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. 

Alternatively, they can contact 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.

"I would urge all farmers to avail of the opportunity to apply for the BPS at this stage via the online system," Minister Creed said. "It is open for farmers to do this either as individuals or through an agent.  Higher levels of online applications will allow my Department to continue to improve on the delivery to farmers of essential payments under schemes such as BPS and the Areas of Natural Constraint Scheme."

The Dundalk clinic is one of 21 clinics being held nationwide, but the only one in Louth.