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O’Neill announces payment rates for Less Favoured Area Scheme

Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill, MLA today announced the rates for the 2013 Less Favoured Area Compensatory Allowances Scheme.
Tuesday, 6 November 2012

The Minister said: “Despite continued pressures on my Department’s budget and a reduction in the value of the euro, I can now confirm that for payments issuing in 2013, the rates will remain at the same level as they have been for the past three years. I know that these payments are hugely important to our hill farmers and it was a priority to me to ensure that these rates were not reduced.

“The payment rates for the 2013 Less Favoured Area Compensatory Allowances (LFACA) Scheme will be £23.81 per hectare for Disadvantaged Areas and Common Land and £47.62 per hectare for Severely Disadvantaged Areas.”

Turning to the timing of payments, the Minister added: “It is my intention that payments will begin to issue in early March 2013, with the majority being paid by the end of March. I am sure that these payments will be welcomed by hill farmers and should provide a boost to the rural economy.”

Notes to editors:

  1. The LFACA scheme is part of the NI Rural Development Programme (NIRDP) 2007-13. The Department has received some 14,800 applications for the 2013 Scheme. Payments on eligible claims will begin to be paid out in early March 2013.The target is for 90% of payments to be made by 31 March 2012.
  2. Applicants may also qualify for a cattle bonus which increases the area based payment for those producers who have 25% or more of their eligible livestock units as suckler cows or heifers.
  3. All media queries should be directed to the DARD Press Office on 028 9052 4619 or email: DARD Press Office. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.