The commencement of advance payments under Year 5 of the Sheep Welfare Scheme has been welcomed by local TD John Paul Phelan.
A total of almost €750,000 is now being paid to some 618 farmers participating in the Sheep Welfare Scheme in Carlow and Kilkenny.
In Carlow, 368 farmers are being paid a total of €452,922.87 while, in Kilkenny, 250 farmers are being paid a total of €285,342.20.
Deputy Phelan said these payments reflect the change to the reference year, bringing the reference year to the higher of either the farmers’ existing reference number or their 2017 sheep census return.
For those who joined as new entrants the reference year is being updated to 2019.
“The change to the reference year better reflects the level of activity on participants’ farms given the passage of time since the introduction of the scheme in 2016,” Deputy Phelan commented. “It will mean an increased payment for many farmers under the scheme and no-one will see their payment being reduced because of this change.
“The extension of the scheme into 2022 and the change to the reference year reflects both the Government’s commitment to the long-term viability of our sheep sector.”
The advance payments, at a rate of 85% of the full annual payment, which Deputy Phelan said are an important support to sheep farmers in the delivery of key welfare actions and provides a financial boost to the individual farmers and the wider rural economy. The balancing payments for the scheme will issue in the second quarter of 2022.
An additional year of the Sheep Welfare Scheme open in February 2022. As in previous years, there will be an opportunity for new entrants to sheep farming to join the scheme.
Deputy Phelan urged any farmers with outstanding queries to respond to the Department of Agriculture immediately in order to facilitate payment.
Subscribe or register today to discover more from DonegalLive.ie
Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.