I recently criticised the government and in particular the Department of Agriculture for their failure to pay farmers their entitlements due in 2023.
Farmers who were sold on the idea of ACRES as a scheme to provide farmers with supports and were promised payment in 2023 have now to wait until February 2024. There are 64,000 farmers affected and their cash flow is severely affected by the delay.
Meanwhile TAMS payments are also being delayed and my office is receiving many calls from farmers who are awaiting payments for works completed under TAMS. Farmers have taken out loans and are being crucified because the grants amounting to thousands not being paid out in a timely fashion.
“Farming is a tough business and cash flow is critical to meet commitments to suppliers and Banks, it is shameful that farmers are left waiting for money that they are entitled to and was promised to be paid in 2023.
I am calling on the Minister and his Department to work to bring forward the payments and restore confidence to farmers and the entire agriculture sector. It is a duty that the Department must fulfil their commitments and that of the Minister to ensure payments are made when due”.