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£22.5millon LFACA Payments Made Early to 13,000 Farmers Says O’Neill
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MORE than 13,000 farmers have received early payments totalling £22.5million under the Less Favoured Areas Compensatory Allowances (LFACA) scheme, Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill said today (21 May).

Payments for LFACA, which provides support to farmers in less favoured areas, issued three weeks earlier than in previous years.dn_screen

Minister O’Neill said: “I took the decision to commence LFACA payments earlier and this has proved very successful. At 13 May 2013, some 13,250 farmers working in less favoured areas have already received their payment. This equates to £22.5million, 97.6% of all eligible claims.”

The Minister also revealed 373 farmers have received early payments under the NI Countryside Management Scheme (NICMS).

She said: “1,450 farmers will this year receive £6.4million under NICMS and payment started in April, which is some five months earlier than the previous year. By 15 May 2013 a total of 373 (26%) of claims had been processed. Most remaining payments should be completed within the next 2-3 months.”

Less Favoured Areas Compensatory Allowances (LFACA) provides some £25m of support to famers in the LFA each year. Applications are received as part of the single application process and payments usually commence during March.