Advance payments made to 99% of Northern Ireland farmers

About 99% of eligible farmers in Northern Ireland have received advance Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) money totalling £195.4m.

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (Daera) began issuing payments at 70% of claim value on 16 October and has since paid 23,592 farm businesses.

This includes 88% of farms subject to land inspections (up by 36% from 2018), with the 1% yet to be paid representing the remaining 12% of farms subject to land inspections.

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A Daera spokesman said: “Under EU regulations we are obligated to select 5% of businesses who claim direct payments for inspection each year. This is done through a combination of random and risk-based selection processes.

“Farm businesses selected for inspection are subject to more rigorous checks which take time to complete to the required standard.”

Balance payments or full payments for those unable to receive an advance payment will be made from Monday 2 December.