Over £301 million in NI Direct Payments to issue on day one

A total of £301,755,000 in Direct Payments will issue to Northern Ireland farmers on the first day of payments for 2021, Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots has announced.

Payment will issue to 23,393 farmers – 98% of eligible applicants – on Monday, October 18. This will be the largest sum paid to farmers on day one of the payment window and includes 91% of farm businsess selected for inspection in 2021.

Announcing the payments, Minister Poots said:

“I am delighted to confirm that 98% of local farmers will be issued a total of £301 million in Direct Payments on October 18. As a result of exiting the EU this is the second year the Department has been able to issue payments in one go, which in turn has represented the largest amount ever issued by my Department on the first day of payments.

“As I announced at the Balmoral Show, payments have been increased by 6.29% this year to ensure that all funding ring-fenced for this purpose is used.”

“I wish to express my thanks to staff within my department who have worked diligently to ensure that hard-pressed farming families receive these vital payments as soon as possible.

These payments represent the bulk of farm businesses’ annual income. Maximising payments issued on day one improves the financial viability of these businesses and the wider rural economy.”

The small number of remaining applications will continue to be verified by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), with payments to be released daily from October 18, onwards.

Payment letters will issue by post to all customers, but can also be viewed online immediately via DAERA Online Services.