During visit to Ballymena Mart Edwin Poots confirms £293 million has been secured for Direct Payments in 2020

Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots.

AGRICULTURE Minister Edwin Poots has confirmed that farmers will share £293million in Direct Payments for the 2020 scheme year and that his Department aims to make full payments from 16 October 2020.

The Minister made the announcement today during a visit to Ballymena Mart.

Minister Poots said: “Following the passage of the necessary legislation by Parliament, I am pleased to confirm that the arrangements for £293million in Direct Payments for the 2020 scheme year are now in place.

“The 2020 scheme will operate in a similar fashion to that in 2019, apart from a small number of issues where change is necessary as a result of our exit from the EU.”

The Minister continued: “Payments under the 2020 scheme year will be nationally funded and, consequently, there will be no deductions from payments under the EU financial discipline mechanism.

“The limit on advance payments, which was 70% of the total payment in 2019, has been removed and as a result, my Department intends to make full payments from 16 October 2020.

“It is my intention to use the 2019 scheme year exchange rate of €1 = £0.89092 to calculate individual farmer’s payments for the 2020 scheme year, meaning that farmers now have certainty on the exchange rate that will be used.

“The option for farmers to receive payments in euro will no longer be available given our exit from the EU.

“I can also confirm that the unit value of Basic Payment Scheme entitlements held by individual farmers in the 2020 scheme will remain at the same value as in 2019 scheme year.”

The Minister concluded: “I believe that this announcement will provide clarity to farmers on the direct payments that they can expect to receive in 2020 and that the small number of changes will be beneficial, especially in enabling improvements in the timely delivery of payments.

“My Department will continue with work on developing policy on the longer term arrangements for agricultural support and further engagement with stakeholders will follow in due course.”

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