Local representatives have welcomed the advance payment of €7,130,690.67 to 2,778 farmers in Co Leitrim as part of the Single Farm Payment (SFP) scheme. The payments have been brought forward from December to October following representations made by Minister Coveney to the EU Commission on the basis of the difficulties being faced by farmers as a result of the poor summer weather.
Speaking to the Leitrim Observer Fine Gael Deputy for Sligo/North Letirim, Tony McLoughlin and Fine Gael Senator, Michael Comiskey, said they welcomed the news as a positive step towards supporting farmers enduring very difficult financial circumstances.
They said that in helping to bring about the early payment of the SFP, Minister Coveney has shown that he is in tune with the challenges that farmers are facing.
“Farmers will no doubt welcome the advance payment of these figures upon which their livelihoods depend,” they said.
The Single Farm Payment forms a considerable part of the annual income of farmers. It has taken on increased significance in the current economic climate. Huge numbers of farmers depend heavily on the SFP to subsidise the running costs of the farm and the payment often constitutes an amount greater than the net farm income.
Over €545 million has so far been paid to farmers nationally through the Single Farm Payment. The balance of the payments will be made from 1st December. €1.3 billion will be paid out in total this year under the scheme.