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European Union Solidarity Fund

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Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney)

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Snippet Contents:

The European Union Solidarity Fund is aimed primarily at providing funding to Member States in the event of a natural disaster.
Following the bad weather this summer, I sought EU approval for the advance payment of the 2012 Single Payment Scheme. This was approved and will enable payment to issue immediately following 16 October and will represent early payment of €600 million to farmers.
I also fully appreciate the value and importance of the other scheme payments to farmers and I remain committed to ensuring that the maximum numbers are paid at the earliest possible date, mindful, of course, of the over-riding necessity to ensure compliance with the governing EU requirements. REPS payments in respect of 2011 are up to date and AEOS payments are well advanced and continue to issue as quickly as possible. My intention is to ensure that payments in respect of 2012 which are due later in the year are brought forward to the earliest possible date.
The closing dates for spreading of chemical and organic fertiliser have been extended by 2 weeks. This will help farmers to make the most of the grass growing season.
Teagasc have been very active in providing advice & assistance for farmers affected by the bad weather. All Teagasc offices are taking calls from concerned farmers. A series of public meetings are being held across the country in early September to address fodder/financial and social aspects of weather crisis. Weather clinics were held in all Teagasc offices recently. Newsletters / media articles are being prepared to outline options open to farmers facing difficulties.