Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey has confirmed that 4,036 farmers throughout the county will receive average payments of €2,325 under the 2016 Areas of Natural Constraints (ANC) Scheme.

“More than €9,385,000 is due to be paid to Clare farmers from this Wednesday (September 21) and Minister Michael Creed has assured me that the Department of Agriculture will continue to clear remaining cases for payment over the coming weeks as a matter of priority,” he said.

The Scheme, which replaces the Disadvantaged Areas scheme, aims to compensate farmers for the significant hardships they face in farming specifically designated lands. Payments are made on a per-hectare basis with land classified into mountain areas, severely handicapped, and less severely handicapped areas.

“These payments represent a significant and timely financial boost for farmers and the wider rural economy  in Clare. Fine Gael is committed to ensuring that the economic recovery reaches all parts of the country and the benefits are felt in every community.

“Not all applications are currently cleared for payment and many farmers have yet to satisfy the annual average stocking density of 0.15 livestock units per forage hectare for the calendar year. They can only be cleared for payment once this requirement has been confirmed. However, they have until the end of the year to do so, “ Deputy Carey explained.

“Regular pay runs will continue in the coming weeks to ensure cleared cases are processed for payment as quickly as possible.  Farmers should submit any outstanding stocking evidence in support of their application to the Department’s Portlaoise Office as soon as possible to facilitate the early release of payments”.