DARD MInister Announces 2012 LFA Compensatory Allowances' Rates
AGRICULTURE Minister Michelle O’Neill MLA today (Monday 31st October) announced the rates for the 2012 Less Favoured Area Compensatory Allowances Scheme.
The Minister said: “I have looked very carefully at what we can afford this year and can now confirm that for payments issuing in 2012, the rates will remain at the same level that we set for the last two years. I recognise the importance of these payments to hill farmers and I felt that it was necessary to ensure that, despite other pressures on my Department’s budget, these rates were not reduced.
“The payment rates for the 2012 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 these payments, the Minister added: “It is my intention that these payments will begin to be paid out in early March 2012, with the majority being paid by the end of March. I know that these payments will provide a welcome boost to both hill farmers and the rural economy.”
The LFACA scheme is part of the NI Rural Development Programme (NIRDP) 2007-13. The Department has received some 14,300 applications for the 2012 Scheme. Payments on eligible claims will begin to be paid out in early March 2012.The target is for 90% of payments to be made by 31 March 2012.
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.