Further supports to assist farmers in making their 2018 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) and Transfer of Entitlements applications online has been announced by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D.
The Minister said:
“Further to existing supports available, such as telephone help-lines, how-to guides and instructional videos, I have asked staff in my Department to be available to meet with farmers on a one-to-one basis in various locations throughout the country to assist them in making their applications.”
Since the online application process was opened in early February of this year almost 20,000 farmers have made applications. At this stage last year, a total of 3,500 applications were received. The figures speak for themselves.
On the recent growth in online applications the Minister said:
“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. Online applications offer a range of benefits for farmers and also help my Department to issue these vital payments more efficiently.”
“Under EU regulations, 2018 is the first year that all applications for the BPS and ANC schemes are to be submitted online. In keeping with these regulations, my Department has been rolling out a range of technical supports for farmers who are not in a position to apply online. This will ensure that all farmers can access these vital financial supports.
“These clinics have proven successful in the past and farmers can sit down with an official from my Department and make their online BPS or Transfer of Entitlements applications on the spot.”
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.
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., or
- 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.
The Minister concluded:
“I would urge all farmers to avail of the opportunity to apply for the BPS at this stage via the online system. 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.”
A full list of the BPS Online Clinics can be found here.