DAERA Minister Edwin Poots MLA has urged all farmers and agents to continue to submit their 2020 Single Applications as soon as possible.
The Minister has confirmed that the closing date for Single Applications remains 15 May 2020. However, he has extended the period for when farmers can amend claims without penalty to 9 June 2020.
Minister Poots said: “In these difficult times the importance of a secure, domestic food supply has never been clearer. The financial security of farm businesses is a critical link in that supply. I therefore urge farmers and their agents to submit their Single Applications now to ensure farm payments can be made in October 2020.
“I am aware that the European Commission has offered EU Member States the option to delay the Single Application deadline until 15 June. Northern Ireland is the only region of the United Kingdom to make direct payments in October each year. Delaying the Single Application submission deadline beyond the 15 May would inevitably delay these payments.
“Farmers rely heavily on their direct payments, which also help to sustain the wider rural economy. I do not believe, therefore, that it would ultimately benefit farmers in Northern Ireland if I were to introduce similar measures at this time. I am, however, extending the period when farmers can amend their claims without penalty to 9 June.”
Acknowledging the fact that some farmers may well be self-isolating or social distancing, the Minister said that assistance is available in such circumstances.
He added: “I’m aware that some farmers may be self-isolating or social distancing and I wish to assure you that DAERA staff are available to assist in the completion of applications. An enhanced telephone advisory service is now operational given that DAERA Direct offices are closed for face-to-face appointments.
“I acknowledge the closure of DAERA Direct offices may inconvenience some farmers, but please be assured that such decisions are taken to protect the spread of coronavirus and save lives. We are in this together.”
The Single Application Advisory Service can be contacted on 0300 200 7848 or via email to [email protected]
How do I apply?
SAF Advisory Service: Tel 0300 200 7848
These services are available Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.
Agents / Authorised Person
Alternatively, you can use the services of an agent.
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