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Farmers to receive delayed 2010 AEOS grants

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Farmers due to receive 2010 AEOS grants


Anton McNulty

Farmers will be keeping an eye out for the postman over the next two weeks, as it has been announced that outstanding AESO grants will be issued at last – almost a year after they were due to be paid.
Since the start of the year farmers have been expecting their Agri-Environment Options Scheme (AEOS) payments for 2010. However, the payments were delayed due to complications in the payment programme.
Speaking to The Mayo News, Mayo IFA Chairman, Martin Gavin explained: “The AEOS 1 scheme was applied in May 2010 and farmers were due to get their payments at the backend of 2010 or early 2011. Now, after a lot of delays, it is eventually starting to roll out and should be in the post in the next week or two,” he told The Mayo News.
The AEOS scheme was introduced to replace the REPS scheme. After the 2010 payments have been sent out during September, the payments for 2011 will begin in October or November. This will be the initial 75 per cent – the remaining 25 per cent of the 2011 payment is due in December.
Gavin expects the 2011 payments to be on time: “You expect once the initial rollout of payments is made then they will start to clear the decks and payments will be made on time,” he said. “They had a problem with the programme they had in making the payments which seemed genuine but you have to ask why it took so long to set up. You’d hope it will be more streamlined once the problem has been rectified.
“This money is long overdue. There was a feeling for a long time among farmers that they were not going to get it at all. We knew the money was there in the budget even if it was not a big amount of money. The uncertainty the delay created was the worst part,” he said.
The maximum payment for the AEOS 1 scheme for each farmer is €5,000 with each farmer on average receiving €3,800. However, the new AEOS scheme sees the maximum amount payable to farmers reduced by €1,000 to €5,000.