Ulster Unionist agriculture, environment & rural affairs spokesperson Rosemary Barton, has written to the DAERA Minister asking him to give consideration to the potential impact on farmers getting their Single Application Form lodged by the 15 May.
Mrs Barton said:
“Since DAERA and many agents have ceased face to face contact with farmers, it is not surprising that like everyone else, farmers are worried about the current situation. Even though we are 6 weeks from 15 May deadline for the Single Application, there is already significant concern from farmers about getting these in on time.
“As it appears COVID -19 will be with us for some time, I have asked the DAERA Minister what plans are in place to manage this situation and if there is any thought being given to extend the date limit of application, and what implications that might have.
“Given that farmers are a vital component of our community, and the requirement to keep food production stable, it is important that they are not unnecessarily side-tracked with administration burdens.
“We are six weeks away from the SAF deadline. I’m hoping that DAERA are giving consideration to the matter at this stage and putting in place any necessary plans and preparations that are required, in order to avoid any last minute confusion for the farming community.”