The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has announced today (19 June) that some 22,500 eligible farmers in agri-environment schemes will be paid a total of £115m owed to them by the end of July.
The announcement follows mounting pressure from the NFU on behalf of its members over the past 18 months. The payments will be made to farmers and land managers from the Treasury, while their annual revenue claims from the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) budget are processed.
The RPA will be writing to all unpaid farmers this week to provide an update. Once individual claims have been processed, the RPA will write again to confirm any adjustments to be made to the final payment.
NFU Deputy President Guy Smith said:
“This news from the RPA will help provide much-needed relief for those farming businesses waiting on outstanding Countryside Stewardship and Environmental Stewardship payments.
“We have been calling for the government to sort this out. At NFU Conference in February, Michael Gove admitted that the Countryside Stewardship scheme was “still in a mess” and that the government must do better.
“The news comes just as the NFU was instructing solicitors through its Legal Assistance Scheme to assist individual farmer members in pursuing their debt claims against the RPA. Hopefully this service will no longer be necessary.
“However, we will continue to monitor the situation to make sure these overdue payments are made in full and at last hit farm bank accounts.”
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