Speaking following a meeting with the Department of Agriculture, Food & Marine on the impending move of Basic Payment Scheme / Greening and Transfer of Entitlements applications to a fully online system in 2018, the Deputy President of ICMSA has said that the move to exclusively online application, must translate into an elimination of payment delays experienced in previous years and a much speedier identification of errors and rectifications that will enable outstanding queries to be dealt with well in advance of the payment date of mid-October.

Lorcan McCabe said that the exclusively online system will pose significant challenges for some farmers – whether due to issues such as poor or non-existent broadband or lack of familiarity with online systems – and ICMSA will insist that no farmer should lose out on any payment as a result of this compulsory change.

Expecting the application process to open earlier this year, the ICMSA Deputy President said the Department need to intensively engage with the approximately 16,000 farmers who have applied ‘by paper’ up to now and every assistance must be given to those individuals so as to ensure their timely payment next autumn.