The Rural Payments Agency has tried to reassure farmers waiting for their Hill Farm Allowance payment, claiming that the agency does understand the problems facing producers.

“In response to industry concerns regarding paying HFA, the RPA wishes to reassure both our customers and the industry more generally that it continues to be a priority for us and we are very aware of the often difficult circumstances hill farmers are in,” said a statement.
 
“We have a dedicated team at Exeter focusing solely on this and they continue to make manual and system payments, full payments where possible and part payments where it is not (based on the validated parcels of land in a claim) to HFA customers.”
 
The agency has so far paid out £18.75m to 8660 customers from the total estimated 10,000 eligible claimants.
 
“We are working hard to clear up outstanding work in respect of remaining claims and generate payments with the minimum of delay,” it said.

The NFU this week issued a demand that all payments are completed by the end of September.

Will Cockbain, the NFU’s upland spokesman, has told ministers that producers need their money ahead of the autumn sales.

“The situation is critical for some and the lack of any kind of timetable just makes things worse. The RPA must deliver on HFA and by the end of September at the latest.”