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Minister Smith Announces Payments Under The €250 Million 2008 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, today confirmed that his Department has commenced the payment to farmers throughout every county in the country, under the 2008 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme (DAS). The first payments had been made this week and he expected that the majority of eligible farmers would be paid within a matter of days. The Minister said "These payments are worth some €250 million to more than 100,000 farmers and this is a very significant injection in the rural economy".

Acknowledging that some cases could not yet be cleared for payment, the Minister said that his Department would be making every effort to clear the outstanding cases as quickly as possible and urged farmers to reply quickly to any correspondence from his Department in relation to any DAS problems and pointed out that his Department had established dedicated lo-call numbers to deal with all such issues.

Farmers responding to area-related issues should contact the following numbers:

1890 252 235: Cavan, Clare, Limerick and Roscommon;
1890 252 236: Cork, Westmeath;
1890 252 242: Kildare, Laois, Leitrim, Longford, Waterford and Wicklow;
1890 252 243: Carlow, Kilkenny, Louth, Monaghan, and Sligo;
1890 252 244: Donegal, Dublin, Offaly and Wexford;
1890 200 502: Galway, Kerry, Mayo and Meath;
1890 252 598: Tipperary.

Farmers responding to stocking density issues should contact:
1890 200 114 (all counties)

The Minister also reminded farmers of the new EU requirement that all payments made with effect from 16 October 2008 must be made via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) directly to farmers' bank, building society, credit union or post office accounts. While the vast majority of farmers have already given their account details to my Department, there are still a sizable number who have yet to do so" the Minister said, adding "My Department is legally required to make payments directly to farmers' accounts after this date and, therefore, I urge those who have yet to submit the necessary details to my Department to do so without further delay." pointed out that failure to submit the relevant details may result in payments being delayed.

Date Released: 24 September 2008