NI Farmers To Receive Extra £15m

An extra £15m will be made available to help struggling farmers in Northern Ireland.

The announcement was made by Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill and comes as a result of a reduction in the proportion of modulation money taken from farmers’ Single Farm Payment (SFP) in 2013.

The European Commission is enabling a further year of voluntary modulation, which means money may be deducted from the 2013 SFP and added to the funds available to the 2014-2020 rural development programme.

Minister O’Neill’s decision to not apply voluntary modulation in 2013 will make a saving of approximately €19m, which is around £15m, according to the Executive.

She said: "The European Commission has made provision for voluntary modulation to continue for another year in the context of the ongoing discussions on CAP Reform. They have said that this money, which is deducted from Single Farm Payment, can be used in the new round of Rural Development Programmes.

"Other administrations in Britain will make use of this provision again. However, given the very real challenges facing our farmers I have decided not to continue to apply voluntary modulation next year. This will provide some much needed additional income for farmers in their 2013 SFP payments and will help to stimulate the rural communities in which farmers live and spend their money."

She added: "I believe that farmers should get a fair price for their produce and that everyone in the food supply chain should share in the risks, costs and rewards. Each link in the supply chain is dependent on all of the other links. Whilst issues affecting competition are a reserved matter and therefore outside of my remit, I am committed to lending my support to address any unfairness in the food supply chain."


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