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Minister Coughlan announces €22m payments to farmers under Sugar Beet Diversification Fund

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Mary Coughlan TD, today announced the issue of the second instalment of payments to former sugar beet growers under the Diversification element of the Sugar Reform package. The Minister explained that these payments are the latest phase of payments due to the farmers affected.

"I am pleased to announce that these payments, worth almost €22 million, have begun to issue to the farmers concerned," the Minister said. "Given the difficulties experienced by those former growers as a direct consequence of the reform undertaken at EU level, I am determined that the payments due under the various elements of the compensation package be made as swiftly as possible," she added.

These payments are in addition to those payments already made to growers under the Restructuring element of the reform package, worth approximately €12 million, and the first instalment of the Diversification element, worth approximately €22 million, which were made last year. In addition, payments totalling €5.8m were made last year and earlier this year to machinery contractors for the loss in value of specialised machinery. The former sugar beet growers involved were granted also, as part of the Reform of the Sugar Regime, additional compensation under the Single Farm Payment Scheme, which will amount to €123 million payable between 2006 and 2012.

Date Released: 01 April 2008