THE Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, has urged farmers or their approved agents to use the Department’s on-line facility, iNET, for the submission of their 2011 single payment applications.
Minister Coveney remarked, “in 2010, almost 45,000 applications were lodged through iNET, both by individual farmers or approved agents working on their behalf. There are many benefits to the system, particularly in terms of the built-in validations, which prevent applicants from making certain errors, and I would strongly encourage those farmers and agents who have not yet signed up to iNET to do so and use this option for 2011.”
The system includes a facility to view maps. On-line applications will be acknowledged by the Department immediately as they are lodged.
The Minister stated, “a significant new development this year is the facility to submit maps via iNET, adding further to the benefits and attractiveness of the system. Analysis of the issues which delay processing of applications show a very high percentage are delayed because of basic errors or omissions on the part of the applicant. I believe strongly that the on-line application facility is better for farmers, provides greater accuracy and is more cost-efficient all round.”
The Minister reminded farmers that, in addition to the Single Payment Scheme itself, the SPS application is also the means of application for a number of land-based schemes e.g. the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme and the Grassland Sheep Scheme.
The Minister emphasised that the closing date for receipt of applications under the 2011 Schemes is 16 May 2011, regardless of whether applications are submitted on-line or the traditional paper application.
As this is the latest date allowable under EU rules, there is absolutely no prospect of extending it the Minister urged all applicants to ensure that they lodge their forms on or before this date.